Now that the hot weather is here, increasing amounts of people are taking to the roadways on summer outings, road trips, and vacations. This increase results in corresponding increases in traffic delays; time spent waiting at traffic lights, stuck behind sightseeing tourists, or locked in on highway traffic jams. Add in hot, humid weather, and you have a recipe for trouble. Aggressive driving gained national attention several years back as incidents of ‘road rage’ made headlines, but incidents of aggressive driving aren’t always so dramatic. Occurrences of aggressive drivers more commonly include hostile behaviors such as tailgating, as well as drivers yelling, swearing and making gestures at other cars. Either way, injuries due to aggressive drivers can be severe. Here’s what you need to know about aggressive driving, as well as what to do if you encounter an aggressive driver.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving is a common problem on America’s roadways. Aggressive drivers endanger themselves and everyone around them, and their actions may lead to injuries, deaths, and billions of dollars in damages each year.
The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as when a driver commits two or more moving violations that endanger the other drivers around them. Aggressive driving behaviors include:
- Weaving in and out of traffic;
- Speeding, or going too fast for conditions;
- Improper lane changes or failing to signal when changing lanes; and
- Failing to obey traffic devices, such as traffic lights, yield warnings and stop signs.
The NHTSA defines road rage as a step up from aggressive driving, in which a driver actually assaults another vehicle, either by using his car as a weapon, or through the use of an actual weapon, such as threatening with a gun.
Laws Against Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving includes any number of offenses for which you may be cited under Florida law. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 15 states, including Florida, have specifically addressed aggressive driving in their legislatures, passing laws that punish aggressive driving behavior. Under Florida State Statutes, Section 316.1923 drivers may face charges of aggressive careless driving, with punishments that may include heavy fines, license suspension, and in some cases, mandatory jail time. Aggressive drivers whose actions result in car accidents may face lawsuits for their reckless or negligent behavior, as well as charges of vehicular homicide if the accident results in the death of any drivers or passengers involved.
Protect Yourself Against Aggressive Drivers
You can help protect yourself and your loved ones from aggressive drivers by following these safety tips from the NHTSA:
- Get out of the way. Avoid aggressive drivers when possible.
- Put your pride aside. Don’t speed up, block, or otherwise engage with the other driver.
- Avoid eye contact. Ignore any yelling or gestures, and refuse to look at the driver.
- Report it. At the next opportunity, pull over to a safe location, and report the incident to local police or highway patrol
Contact Our Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney
Accidents caused by aggressive drivers often result in serious injuries and damages. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys. At Hogan Frick, with offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, we’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.