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Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

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Aggressive driving is a serious problem in the United States. According to a survey conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post, more than 30 percent of people feel that aggressive driving is the biggest threat to their safety on the road. Aggressive drivers cause accidents because they often fail to obey state and local laws and often endanger other vehicles in their path. If you are involved in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver, you are strongly advised to consult an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

The New Jersey car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr have over four decades of experience helping victims of car accidents claim compensation for their injuries. Our lawyers understand the dangers associated with aggressive drivers, and we are committed to helping victims claim the justice and compensation they deserve. We ensure our clients’ legal rights are protected and that the aggressive driver responsible for the crash is held liable.

Recognizing Aggressive Driving

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive drivers caused over 106,000 fatalities in the United States over a four-year period.

Aggressive drivers are defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as anyone that engages in a multitude of illegal and reckless driving behaviors that endanger the lives of others. The most common behaviors exhibited by aggressive drivers include, but are not limited to:

  • Exceeding speed limits
  • Following too closely
  • Erratic and unsafe lane changes
  • Failure to obey traffic lights and stop signs
  • Driving on the shoulder of the road, on the median, or sidewalk
  • Passing in a no-passing zone
  • Sudden turns not indicated with signals
  • Ignoring signals of other drivers wishing to turn or change lanes
  • Making rude or offensive gestures to other drivers
  • Intimidation of other drivers by driving beside them or refusing to let them pass
  • Reckless driving

Defining Road Rage

Aggressive driving can lead to road rage, which the National Safety Council (NSC) defines as a physical assault on a person or property following a traffic incident that results in intentional harm. According to the National Safety Council, road rage incidents caused 12,610 injuries and 218 murders over a seven-year period in the United States. Firearms were involved in almost 40 percent of these incidents. Data from the NSC indicates that young males are more likely to become physical during a road rage incident than other drivers.

How to Handle an Aggressive Driver on the Road

If you encounter an aggressive driver on the road, there are several things you can do to help keep the situation from escalating into a road rage incident or car accident. If the aggressive driver is trying to taunt or intimidate you, stay calm and try to slow down. Keep your eyes on the road and avoid making eye contact with someone that is trying to offend you with gestures or words. Change lanes to put space between you and the aggressive driver, if it is safe to do so. If the aggressor continues their behavior, use your cell phone to dial 911 and alert the police. If possible, give them the driver’s license plate number so that they can run a background check while they are in transit.

Despite your efforts to avoid the aggressive driver, car accidents can happen. It is important to know what to do if you become involved in an accident with an aggressive driver. Your safety must be your first priority, so it is important to call 911 or the local police station when the collision occurs, if you are able. It is never advisable to get out of the car until the police arrive. If it is dangerous to stay in the vehicle after an accident, be sure to move to a safe, well lit area while you wait for law enforcement.

Avoid responding to the driver if they are shouting or trying to intimidate you. Confrontations can escalate quickly when tempers flare, so stay calm and again, avoid eye contact if possible. If there is a store, restaurant, or other public building that you can go into, do so until the police get to the scene.

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims of Aggressive Driving Accidents

If you or someone you know is involved in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver, the New Jersey car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is committed to helping you hold the aggressive driver liable for your injuries, and claim the maximum compensation available to you. Call us in Highland Park, New Jersey at 877-249-4600, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.

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