Aggressive driving is one of the biggest problems that motorists face. Drivers who speed, tailgate, switch lanes dangerously, and operate their vehicles in ways that could hurt other motorists on the road are considered drive aggressively.
In addition to making driving difficult for others who are on the road at the same time, aggressive driving is dangerous. Although the number of accidents caused by aggressive driving is difficult to quantify, a study conducted in 2009 by the American Automobile Association found that aggressive driving played a role in 56 percent of the accidents that took place between 2003 and 2007, with speed being the biggest factor.
The Best Defense: Defensive Driving
Part of being a good driver is doing what it takes to keep everybody on the road safe. Perhaps the most effective method for doing that is to drive defensively. Although keeping a level head on your shoulders when other drivers are acting dangerously can be tough, it is the best way to combat aggressive driving. The following are a few examples:
Drive slowly. Driving fast puts you at risk for getting into trouble with the law—it also increases your chances of becoming injured in an accident. Drivers who travel above the speed limit are often involved in collisions because they aren’t able to stop their vehicles as fast as is sometimes needed. Additionally, speeding increases the chances of losing control of your vehicle, which could cause a serious accident. Driving slowly, however, gives you more time to react to your surroundings and situation, which could stop a dangerous accident from taking place.
Stay focused. Accidents often happen because of situations that occur in the blink of an eye. Many times, you won’t be able to stop when a vehicle cuts you off, or turn out of the way if a driver runs through a red light—if you are distracted by something else in the car. But by keeping all of your attention on what is occurring around you, you will have a better chance of avoiding a potentially deadly collision.
Keep your distance. Part of driving defensively is keeping yourself out of harm’s way. Defensive drivers often react quickly to the behavior of other drivers, and by staying away from the vehicles in front of you, you have a chance to keep yourself safe. Always keep at least three to four seconds of time between you and the vehicle ahead of yours. Additionally, drive on areas of the road which are the least crowded.
Have an escape route. Victims of aggressive driving aren’t often aware they are in danger until it is too late. If you notice someone is yelling at you, charging at your vehicle, or acting in other aggressive and frightening ways, you should attempt to safely remove yourself from the situation. Look for a busy area that is easy to get to if you feel threatened, such as a shopping center. Having other people around could prevent an aggressive driver from taking action against you. Getting off of the road also gives you a chance to calm down so that you can focus on driving safely.
Don’t assume. Becoming distracted or forgetful while driving is rather easy. How many times have you noticed your turn signal was still on far after you changed lanes or turned? The same situation happens to other drivers, as well, and assuming they are turning or performing some kind of action could put you in trouble. Always take your time and see how the situation unfolds before you move.
We May Be Able to Help You Take Action Against Aggressive Drivers
Aggressive driving often leads to dangerous accidents that can leave victims with debilitating and lifelong injuries, in addition to expensive medical bills. If you were hurt in an accident, contact the attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP. We may be able to help you receive financial compensation that can help you pay for the expenses related to your accident. Contact us today by calling 855-947-0707 to find out how we may be able to help.