Many people share the annoyance or even dread at having to face yet another angry driver when they go out on the road. The impression that drivers today are getting more rude and more aggressive is not imaginary. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), preliminary data from February of 2022 indicates that the number of deaths for that month exceeded fatalities for the same month in 2021 by 14%.
Data from 2020 indicated that driving habits were already changing, as fewer vehicles or law enforcement on the roads led to increasingly risky driving habits. Drivers tended to be more distracted or impaired and likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as speeding, violating traffic laws and driving aggressively. But the trend has not levelled off so far. In Florida, for example, motor vehicle fatalities went up over 26% in 2021 and are already 4% above last year.
But what constitutes aggressive driving? Any driving habits that deliberately put lives at risk with ill intention can constitute aggressive driving. This includes driving 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, running a red light, tailgating, erratic lane changing, or passing illegally. A recent study found that as many as 56% of fatal crashes were due to one of these actions.
How to avoid becoming a victim of aggressive driving
While dangerous situations are not always avoidable, it can help to minimize direct interactions that can trigger certain aggressive behaviors. Some driving habits that can cause an angry driver to take offense include:
- Cutting off a driver while merging
- Making angry or obscene gestures
- Driving too slowly while in the left lane
It takes two to fight, so not engaging can keep the temperatures down until the other driver cools off. It can help to steer clear of an angry driver by getting some distance from them, not reacting and avoiding eye contact. If it looks like the driver is following you, call the police or drive to a public place.
Avoiding a dangerous encounter with an aggressive driver also takes a shift in how you view them. People who speed sometimes do it to win, but they also may be chronically late t appointments. By not taking the other driver’s actions personally, it is easier to see a way of avoiding potential conflict.
Seeking compensation after an avoidable accident
Aggressive driving is a form of negligence, as it dangerous and careless, and usually occurs without regard for safety. Florida follows the theory of comparative negligence, in which any fault attributable to the victim for causing the accident will reduce compensation by that percentage.
For people in Indialantic and surrounding areas, it is important to know your legal options if you or a loved one has suffered injury from the negligent actions of another, in order to receive the compensation that you deserve.