Aggressive Driving and Car Accidents

How can I protect myself from aggressive drivers?

Aggressive driving is a serious problem on our roadways across the nation, and sadly it seems to be getting worse.  Several viral videos depicting drivers cursing, using obscene gestures, attempting to run others off the road, and even resorting to physical violence have awakened the nation to the true dangers of aggressive driving.  Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers discuss the problem of aggressive driving and how you can protect yourself below.

What is Aggressive Driving?

The term aggressive driving was coined in the ‘90’s.  Aggressive driving is a phrase used to described a group of hazardous driving behaviors that place drivers and road users around them at significant risk of injury.  Aggressive driving encompasses the following actions:

  • Speeding;
  • Illegal passing;
  • Tailgating;
  • Running a red light or stop sign;
  • Failure to yield the right of way;
  • Shining your brights at other drivers;
  • Attempting to force other drivers off the road;
  • Weaving in traffic; and
  • Cutting other cars off.

Aggressive driving can escalate to gestures of anger, yelling, confrontation, physical assault, and in the most extreme, even murder.  These forms of aggressive driving are typically referred to as “road rage.”

Protecting Yourself From Aggressive Drivers

If you are driving and realize that a driver behind or around you is behaving in an aggressive manner, your first defense is attempting to move far away from the aggressive driver.  Safely switch into another lane, lower your speed to drop back, or exit the roadway if it is safe to do so.  While you may be tempted to respond to the driver’s anger with signs of your own frustration, it is always best to maintain your composure, as displaying your anger could further incite the other driver.  If you ever feel another driver poses a threat to your safety, immediately call the appropriate law enforcement agency to report the dangerous driver.

Aggressive drivers can be held legally accountable for their actions if their behavior causes injury or death to another person.  Negligent aggressive drivers in California could be liable for an accident victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Consult with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash to protect your legal rights.