It can be hard to measure how common aggressive driving is on Atlanta’s roadways. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes "aggressive driving." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property."
To further investigate how the general population views and classifies aggressive driving, a survey conducted by the NHTSA in the late 1990s found the following.
- More than half the survey participants admitted to some form of aggressive driving on occasion.
- Only 14 percent of the participants believed that driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit was "extremely dangerous."
- Sixty-two percent of participants who admitted to frequently driving in an unsafe manner said they had not been stopped by police for their driving behavior in the past year.
Why Aggressive Drivers Cause More Crashes
Aggressive driving can be a form of distraction in that the driver is not concentrating on getting to her destination safely, but rather focusing on getting there quickly. And drivers may be unable to fully control the vehicle while making the aggressive maneuvers.
Speeding is one of the most common forms of aggressive driving. Some drivers are impatient in getting to their destination, while others might be late for an appointment. Whatever the case, when a driver decides to speed to get to her destination faster, she sacrifices the time it takes to process obstacles and changes in traffic patterns, putting herself and others at risk.
Other types of aggressive driving behavior include tailgating and swerving between lanes. Tailgating leaves little reaction time for an aggressive driver to react if the car he is tailing has to stop suddenly. This can lead to an increase in rear-end collisions. Swerving or abruptly changing lanes can also cause difficulty for other drivers trying to predict and react to the sudden maneuvers. A lot of drivers say it was too late for them to stop or move before an aggressive driver struck their vehicle.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim after an Accident with an Aggressive Driver
If a driver who you believe was driving aggressively hit you, the first thing to remember is that you should not accuse him of anything. When the police arrive, give them the facts of how the accident happened. Simply state what the other driver was doing, whether it was tailgating or weaving between lanes. It is the job of the police to determine if the driver was behaving aggressively and what type of citation (if any) to give.
If the other driver was driving aggressively, he may receive a traffic citation. In some cases, aggressive driving can turn to road rage, where a driver intentionally tries to endanger another person's life or property, or threatens to do so. Road rage can be a criminal offense in some circumstances. In either case, a traffic citation or a criminal arrest can be proof of negligence and liability in a personal injury claim.
As with any car accident claim, make sure you obtain a copy of the police report and information on any citations or charges against the aggressive driver. Take photos of the accident scene, obtain contact information from the witnesses, and contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Once you gathered this information, contact an attorney. Your lawyer can even help you gather this or other evidence as you pursue your claim.
When an Aggressive Driver Causes you Harm, Jason Schultz is Here to Help
If an aggressive driver is liable for causing your family serious injuries, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. Before you settle your claim with the insurance company, contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. to make sure you are getting a fair and full settlement. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation regarding your legal options after a serious car accident: 404-474-0804.