What if we could point to one factor as a cause of more than one-third of all traffic accidents and two-thirds of all fatal crashes?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we can identify that factor—and it is known as aggressive driving.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
An aggressive driver is one who is acting in a “selfish, pushy, or impatient manner” in a way that affects other drivers, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office of Highway Safety. According to this agency, some signs of aggressive driving include:
- Going through red lights or stop signs.
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
- Making unsafe or improper lane changes.
- Passing a moving vehicle on the right or on the shoulder.
- Making aggressive hand or face gestures.
- Flashing headlights.
- Screaming or yelling.
- Following too closely.
These actions are so common that you have likely encountered an aggressive driver recently.
What Will You Do Next Time You Encounter an Aggressive Driver?
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office of Highway Safety suggests that you take one or more of the following steps the next time you are near an aggressive driver on the road:
- Do whatever you can to get out of his way.
- Don’t challenge her by speeding up or staying in front of her.
- Avoid making eye contact with him.
- Ignore gestures.
- Make sure that you always wear your seat belt to protect you in case of an accident.
- Report aggressive drivers to the police. Give them a description of the vehicle, license plate number and state, the location where you witnessed the aggressive driving, and the direction the vehicle was travelling.
If you witness an accident caused by an aggressive driver, then stop a safe distance from the scene of the accident and call the police; when they arrive, approach them and tell them what you saw.
Do not drive home if you believe that an aggressive driver is following you. Instead, drive to someplace safe where there are other people, such as a police or fire station, a gas station, or a grocery store. Use your cell phone to call for help.
These steps may protect you from being hurt or killed in a serious crash.
Penalties for Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
In Kentucky, a driver who is convicted of “following too closely” is subject to four points on his or her driving record. If the driver is charged with “reckless driving,” it’s four points; “too fast for conditions,” three points; “commission of a moving hazardous violation which involves a collision,” six points. A “combination of two or more hazardous violations in any one continuous occurrence” earns six points.
A total of six points assessed to one’s driving record may result in an interview with the Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Driver Licensing. If the Cabinet requires the driver to take a State Driving School class to improve driving skills, and the driver doesn’t attend, his or her driver’s license will be suspended for six months.
Road Rage Is a Criminal Offense
Generally, it occurs when one person’s inconsiderate driving ignites another driver’s anger, and the situation escalates into violence, which may include assault with the vehicle, a weapon, or the body, if both drivers get out of their vehicles to fight it out.
Additionally, an aggressive driver or a driver who commits road rage may be liable for any property damage, personal injuries, or fatalities that are caused by his actions if the people who were hurt or their loved ones file a car accident lawsuit and fight for the fair recoveries they deserve. To learn more about your rights after a car accident, please contact us directly via this website to schedule a free, confidential consultation.