An angry driver can be a dangerous driver capable of killing others, whether done intentionally or not. Aggressive driving happens when a driver commits several traffic offenses in succession in order to endanger other people or property, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That kind of driving behavior could result in a fatality, and with California highways sometimes packed with angry drivers, it is a problem to be aware of.
Signs of aggressive driving
An aggressive driver often ignores traffic laws and exceeds the speed limit, which greatly increases the chances of causing a traffic fatality. The NHTSA identified several common actions that add up to aggressive driving. Those include tailgating, making erratic lane changes and driving on the road shoulder or otherwise off the designated roadway. Passing where prohibited, ignoring right-of-way, turning improperly and racing a vehicle all can add up to aggressive driving.
Significant factor in highway fatalities
The American Automobile Association tried to quantify the effects of aggressive driving with a study completed in 2009. The insurer concluded that aggressive driving was a significant factor in 56% of traffic fatalities over a four-year period starting in 2003 and ending in 2007. Speeding combined with angry and erratic driving made accidents deadly for many of those involved, AAA concluded.
Aggressive drivers are liable for injuries and damages
If an aggressive driver causes a wreck that results in injuries or worse to others, that driver could be liable for the costs. In many cases, such an accident could be prosecuted as “road rage” based on local traffic ordinances and criminal law. Those who suffer injuries or possibly lose a loved one due to an aggressive driver on California roadways might seek damages beyond an auto insurance settlement.
An experienced personal injury law attorney may be an asset in building your case by compiling the evidence, obtaining witness statements, deposing the offending driver and pressing your case in court and with the insurers. A consultation may give you a better idea of your case’s merits.