Every driver knows what aggressive driving is, at least in theory. At some point, you have likely encountered a driver who honked too much, followed you closely so that you would switch lanes, or sped around you in a risky lane change.
However, are you aware of all of the potential negative effects of aggressive driving? In this article, we’ll review some of the health and safety impacts of aggressive driving for both the driver and others on the road.
Aggressive driving is dangerous for yourself and others.
In our latest infographic, we share the latest statistics regarding how aggressive driving behaviors and “road rage” negatively impact your health and safety.
What is aggressive driving?
Aggressive driving refers to a range of behaviors behind the wheel that stem from stress, impatience, or frustration, and that can put others at unnecessary risk of harm. Some aggressive driving acts include:
- Cutting off other drivers
- Distracting drivers by honking or yelling
Some drivers engage in road rage, which includes:
- Threatening other drivers
- Stalking and following other drivers for intimidation
- Hitting other vehicles on purpose
- Displaying that you have a weapon in the car to frighten drivers
Aggressive driving increases your risk of causing an accident
Everyone is at risk of getting into an accident every time they are on the road. However, when you engage in aggressive driving behaviors, the risks of a crash increase dramatically. Aggressive drivers are on the offensive, and this means they lose the benefits of defensive driving. They usually take longer to react to traffic or obstacles, and they often cannot avoid a crash if they are speeding or following too closely.
Avoiding aggressive driving
The good news is there are things you can do to avoid becoming aggressive on the road, including:
- Giving yourself plenty of drive time
- Planning your route ahead of time
- Checking traffic ahead of time
- Always obeying the speed limit
- If you need to, pulling over to calm down
- If you see an aggressive driver, give them space and do NOT engage them
Protect your rights if you have been injured by an aggressive driver
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely eliminate your risk of being injured by an aggressive driver. In the event that you are hurt by someone who was driving aggressively, there are certain steps you can take to protect your rights and ensure that you obtain any compensation you are owed under California law. Here are the most important steps to consider:
Call the police
The first thing you should do after an accident with an aggressive driver is to call the police. Aggressive drivers that cause accidents typically have violated one or more traffic laws, and if the police determine a traffic violation has occurred, they will likely issue the driver a citation or even arrest him or her. If this occurs in your case, it can make obtaining compensation much simpler than if the cause of the accident is unclear.
Seek medical attention
You should always seek medical attention after a car crash, even if you don’t believe that you are seriously injured or if on-scene medical personnel cleared you to go home without an examination. When you see a medical professional, an official medical record will be generated, and that record can be used as evidence when seeking compensation for your injuries.
Do not accept a settlement offer before talking to a lawyer
You only get one chance to settle a car accident case. As a result, it’s imperative that any settlement offer you accept adequately compensate you for all of your losses—including the ones you can’t see or identify with a repair bill or pay stub. An experienced personal injury lawyer will evaluate your case and determine how much you should expect to receive for your current and future losses, including your physical and emotional pain and suffering and lost quality of life.
Retain an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can
Finally, it’s highly advisable to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. In any situation where you talk to the insurance company yourself, you run the risk of saying something that can hurt your case. In addition, waiting to start your case can run the risk of the loss or destruction of evidence that you need to win your case.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, there’s a good chance that you’re entitled to compensation for your accident-related losses under California law. You need a lawyer who is committed to pursuing maximum compensation for every client and who will review your case at no cost to you.
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