Over half of all fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic. When drivers on the receiving end retaliate, aggressive driving can quickly escalate into full blown road rage. The following are warning signs of aggressive driving and what to do if you are injured in a wreck caused by an aggressive driver.
Aggressive Driving Behaviors
Aggressive driving takes many different forms, such as:
- Boxing in other cars
- Cursing or making obscene gestures at other drivers
- Cutting off other drivers
- Driving on the median, shoulder, or sidewalk
- Excessively honking the horn
- Failing to obey traffic lights and signs
- Flashing headlights at the driver ahead
- Passing in prohibited areas
- Running red lights
- Sudden turns and lane changes without signaling
- Weaving in and out of traffic
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
Aggressive driving sometimes evolves into road rage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines road rage as committing moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon. Half of drivers who have encountered aggressive driving admit to responding aggressively in turn. Considering that road rage led to more than 12,000 injuries over a seven-year period, drivers are wise to learn how to prevent road rage confrontations.
The following are tips for avoiding road rage incidents:
- Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver
- Move out of the way of an aggressive driver when you can safely do so
- Refrain from responding with obscene or offensive words or gestures
- If you believe you are in danger, call 911 for help
Aggressive Driving Laws in Virginia
Under Virginia law, aggressive driving is considered the operation of a vehicle in a way intended to harass or intimidate another person or people. To be charged with aggressive driving, drivers must violate one or more Virginia traffic laws. In Virginia, aggressive driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor resulting in penalties that include 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. If the aggressive driver shows intent to injure another person, it becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor that includes penalties of up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
Compensation for Victims of Aggressive Driving Accidents
Aggressive driving causes a host of serious and even fatal rear-end, T-bone, front-end, and rollover wrecks. Victims who survive these accidents are often left with painful, life-altering injuries and mounting medical bills, emotional trauma, and reduced quality of life. Injured victims of aggressive driving wrecks should know there are legal remedies available to hold aggressive drivers responsible. Virginia Beach car accident lawyers carefully review all the details of a wreck to determine if aggressive behavior was involved and how it led to the crash. From there, an experienced trial lawyer recommends the ideal course of action. Compensation for car accident claims might include lost income, medical expenses, property damage, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering.
Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Law Firm Handles Complex Aggressive Driving Claims
In the aftermath of a wreck, the cause may not be immediately apparent. It takes great care and attention to determine if aggressive driving was a factor in a serious crash. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, our Virginia Beach car accident law firm diligently investigates every detail of your crash to establish what went wrong and who was responsible. For a free consultation, call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online. Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients in and around Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.