Car accidents can occur due to a wide variety of things like failure to yield, speeding, and even vehicle malfunction. However, one of the most commonly overlooked causes of collisions is aggressive driving, also known as road rage. According to data compiled by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Auto Vantage auto club show, as much as 66% of car accident fatalities are caused by angry driving. Here’s what you need to know about road rage and what to do if you were involved in a car crash caused by an aggressive motorist.
What is Aggressive Driving?
Aggressive driving isn’t just a few behaviors that fall within a certain category. Rather, many behaviors are considered aggressive. The NHTSA describes aggressive driving as occurring when:
“an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”
The most common forms of road rage include but are not limited to:
- Agitated changes in speed meant to upset another driver. These include speeding excessively or going extremely slow when another car is following
- Illegal passing, such as crossing a double yellow line in a no-passing zone or passing on the right shoulder
- Quickly changing lanes multiple times in an attempt to “weave” around cars on the road
- “Brake checking,” e.g. slamming on the brakes while a person is following closely
- Flashing bright headlights or using the car horn excessively
- Yelling insults out the window at another driver or making obscene hand gestures
- Attempting to run another driver off the road
- Road racing
- Attempting to block other vehicles by swerving or stopping the vehicle in front of them
- Passing another vehicle and “cutting them off”. In other words, not allowing enough space before entering back into the lane the other vehicle is in
How Angry Driving Causes Accidents
The above behaviors can easily cause an accident. Brake checking or cutting off another driver can result in a rear-end collision. Meanwhile, using the car horn excessively or making obscene gestures can distract another driver. These examples can result in a reduced ability to respond to surroundings.
If you are the victim of an accident that you believe was caused by angry or aggressive driving, don’t hesitate to get help. At Appalachian Injury Law, we can investigate the collision and determine who may be at fault. We’ll work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call now for a consultation at (706) 515-1995 or toll-free at (800) 393-8595.