There are a lot of causes of car accidents, but aggressive driving is one of the most common contributing factors. Thousands of accidents are caused each year by aggressive driving behaviors, leaving thousands of unsuspecting motorists injured or killed.
In fact, some reports have shown that more than half of all fatal accidents are caused by drivers who engage in aggressive driving practices.
What is aggressive driving?
Aggressive driving takes many forms. It includes:
- Changing lanes suddenly, oftentimes without proper signaling
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Passing vehicles in the median, on the shoulder, or even on the sidewalk
- Passing vehicles in no-passing zones
- Failing to yield to pedestrians
- Engaging in other behaviors that can be considered road rage
The last characteristic of aggressive driving, road rage, is an issue on its own, oftentimes resulting in driving practices that are threatening or intended to cause harm to others.
Any type of erratic driving involving sudden movements can also be considered aggressive in nature. While this includes sudden lane changes, it might also involve sudden stops and unexpectedly veering into oncoming traffic in order to pass slower traffic.
What should you do if you encounter an aggressive driver?
Aggressive driving behavior can significantly increase your risk of being involved in a serious car accident. To try to avoid that outcome, you want to be as defensive as possible. This includes doing each of the following:
- Keep a safe distance from the driver who is exhibiting dangerous driving behaviors
- Try to avoid making eye contact with the aggressive driver
- Don’t make any gestures that could enflame the situation
- Call the police or 911 if you suspect that the driver’s behaviors are posing a threat to others on the roadway
What if you’ve been injured by an aggressive driver?
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by one of these drivers, then you need to be prepared to take legal action. After all, doing so may be the only way to recover compensation for the damages that have been caused to you, including recovering medical expenses, recouping lost wages, and offsetting your pain and suffering.
But to succeed with a personal injury claim, you need to present sufficient evidence to prove your case. This may mean doing each of the following:
- Obtaining and reviewing police reports
- Talking to witnesses who saw the accident and the other driver’s behaviors
- Taking photographs of the accident scene and your injuries
- Seeking out the medical treatment that you need
- Reaching out to experts who can help you prove causation, your need for ongoing medical treatment, and your lost wages and lost earnings capacity
- Reviewing case law to see if it supports your case in some fashion
Do you need a legal ally on your side?
Navigating a personal injury claim can be difficult, especially when you just want to focus on your recovery and getting back to normal life. Fortunately, you don’t have to face the challenges of your case on your own. A legal advocate who is experienced in handling these kinds of matters can help you analyze your case and build the persuasive legal arguments that you need to protect your interests.