What is Aggressive Driving?

A cool, level head is essential to safe driving. Aggressive driving is defined as behavior that shows a lack of regard for human safety. Aggressive motorists are driving in an unsafe manner. Here are some of the most common examples:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Cutting off other motorists
  • Using the brakes to punish or intimidate the driver following
  • Failing to signal a lane change
  • Blocking vehicles as they attempt to change lanes

According to AAA, almost 80 percent of motorists “expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage” when operating a motor vehicle, at least once in the year following. Aggressive driving can easily lead to motor vehicle accidents. This type of behavior makes it more difficult for the aggressive driver to control their vehicle. It brings the vehicle into an unsafe proximity to other vehicles. It generally increases the risk of a crash.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver. This claim is handled by an experienced auto accident attorney and would be an opportunity to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the other ways the injury has affected your life.

While an aggressive motorist may be enraged and therefore driving unreasonably, there tends to be a fine line between aggressive driving (which would be considered careless and negligent) and road rage (which is a criminal offense in many states). Road rage usually escalates to obscene hand gestures, yelling at or threatening other motorists, throwing things at other vehicles, and ramming or sideswiping other vehicles.

To avoid aggressive driving behaviors, don’t drive if you are upset or angered about something. Instead, take time to regain a level head. To avoid feeling rushed, build extra time into your schedule for your commute.

To avoid aggressive drivers, don’t take things personally when you see a motorist do something careless on the road. Increase your following distance. Stay out of the left lane except to pass or turn, and avoid engaging angry motorists.

To find out if you have a case, start by finding an experienced attorney in your area.