According to the Fatal Accident Reporting System provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving was the cause of 56 percent of fatal crashes from 2003 through 2007, with speeding being the leading driving behavior associated with fatal crashes. In 2019, excessive speeding was linked to 17.2 percent of fatal crashes, followed by driving under the influence at 10.1 percent. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the previous 30 days in 2019.
After being involved in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, you need someone on your side fighting for your rights and a fair settlement. No doubt you’ve not only suffered physical injuries but emotional distress and financial losses. You need superb representation in your corner, making sure that you get what you deserve.
What types of injuries can be caused by aggressive drivers?
Aggressive drivers can cause accidents that lead to injuries that range in severity from mild to life-threatening. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in car accidents and affects the muscles in the neck. Fractures of the ribs and hips, lacerations, burns, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries are common after car accidents and may require surgery or months of physical therapy to heal. The medical attention and care that you need will be costly. If you are concerned with who will cover these medical expenses, call Lewis & Castagliola, P.A. at 727-343-3477 to schedule your case evaluation and determine what damages you are entitled to.
What is “road rage”?
“Road rage” is a term to describe a driver who is exhibiting aggressive behaviors behind the wheel. Everyone has the experience of being irritated behind the wheel or rushing to get to work on time. Heavy traffic, running late, or having a bad day are all factors that contribute to road rage. Anonymity behind the wheel also contributes to road rage because drivers don’t know each other, so they may feel more comfortable engaging in risky behaviors with a complete stranger.
What are examples of aggressive driving behaviors?
Aggressive driving is understandably a major concern for drivers. Here are some behaviors to look out for:
- Driving erratically or recklessly
- Speeding in heavy traffic
- Passing other drivers quickly and illegally
- Using the brakes often
- Honking their horn excessively
- Cutting off other drivers
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Changing lanes without using a signal
- Cutting off other drivers, or getting in front of them and then decelerating
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Blocking other vehicles as drivers attempt to change lanes or pass
- Using foul language or obscene gestures
- Tailgating other drivers
- Failing to yield the right of way
What are some ways to avoid an aggressive driver?
Unfortunately, drivers who are full of road rage can be easily triggered, but there are some things that you can do to maintain control. First, you can try to get out of their way by turning on your signal, merging into the right lane, and decelerating. This is especially helpful if you have accidentally cut someone off in traffic and want to communicate that you did not mean to make that error.
If the other driver tries to cut you off or gets in front of you and applies their brakes, then you should give an apologetic wave or nod. This will hopefully quell their anger by communicating genuine regret. Sometimes acknowledging the mistake is enough to make them move on.
Do not make eye contact since locking eyes can often be perceived as an aggressive gesture. Remain ready for any sudden changes in driving from the other driver, and be prepared to brake suddenly. Putting extra space between you and them by slowing down can help de-escalate the situation, too. The extra space will also allow you more room to react to any tricks they may try to pull.
No matter what, never stop your vehicle and engage with the other driver. This could escalate the situation and may result in injuries to you and your passengers. There is nothing more important than the safety and lives of you and your passengers. You may have to swallow your own emotions in order to prevent the situation from becoming more heated, such as counting to 10 or breathing deeply, but doing so can save your life.
What are some legal consequences of aggressive driving?
The legal consequences for aggressive driving range from fines and citations to criminal charges if the aggressor’s driving leads to damaged property or personal injury. The aggressive driver will also be held liable for your damages, which include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate you for your financial losses. These are quantified by adding up your costs from:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost earning potential
- Damage to your vehicle
- Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as a rental car, childcare, or transportation expenses
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify since they are based on your pain and suffering. However, your aggressive driving lawyer in St. Petersburg will prove your emotional distress based on how much the accident has affected your life. Non-economic damages compensate you for:
- The loss of use of an organ or the loss of a limb
- The loss of enjoyment of life
- The loss of consortium
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Call Now For Your Free Consultation
Contact Lewis & Castagliola, P.A. if you’ve been injured by an aggressive driver in St. Petersburg, FL. We also represent clients in Central Florida and the Gulf Coast. Call 727-343-3477 to speak to an aggressive driving attorney and learn about your rights. During your risk-free consultation, we will listen to your side of the story, advise you of your rights and suggest the next best steps for you. You don’t have to go through this alone. Call car accident lawyer Lewis & Castagliola, P.A. today to learn more.