Injured By An Aggressive Driver
It seems like everyone is in a hurry these days, including drivers on Florida roads. Whether it’s from stress, a self-centered attitude, or because they’re running late, aggressive driving has become a serious problem across the country. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that aggressive driving is the cause of two-thirds of all traffic fatalities every year.
Unfortunately, the NHTSA also reports that half of all drivers who encounter aggressive driving from someone else on the road respond with a rude gesture of their own. While it can be difficult to maintain composure in these situations, it only makes things more dangerous to respond in kind. NHTSA defines aggressive driving as behavior by a driver that is violent or visibly angry.
Florida’s Statutes on Aggressive Driving
While it’s frustrating to deal with the aggressive driving behavior of other motorists, the good news is that Florida is cracking down on this problem. It is one of 15 states nationwide that has enacted legislation around aggressive driving. Under Section 316.1923 of the Florida State Statutes, a motorist can be charged with aggressive driving if he or she engages in at least two of the following acts while behind the wheel:
- Tailgating or following another vehicle too closely
- Driving too close to the side of another vehicle or a bicycle
- Failing to yield the proper right of way
- Not obeying traffic control devices
- Improper passing
- Illegal passing
- Changing lanes in an unsafe or illegal manner
- Racing another driver
- Repeatedly failing to signal a turn or a lane change
- Not following posted traffic laws
Any one of these actions can cause a serious accident. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that speeding is the leading cause of fatal crashes across the country.
Aggressive Driving is Not the Same Thing as Road Rage
People understandably feel upset when they find themselves the victim of an aggressive driver. Some assume that the other party in the accident committed road rage when this typically isn’t the case. Both types of behavior are illegal, but aggressive behavior is a civil offense while road rage is a criminal one. When you’re injured by an aggressive driver, you would seek justice by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Examples of road rage would include a driver who becomes so angry after an altercation on the road that he or she takes out a gun and starts shooting or uses his or her personal vehicle as a weapon to run someone over. Road rage is an extremely serious matter that typically results in jail time and other sanctions for the driver who perpetrates it.
What to Do When You’re Involved in an Accident with an Aggressive Driver
You should follow the same procedures for this type of auto accident as you would with any other type. That means you should exchange information with the other driver, file a report with the police and your insurance company, take pictures at the scene, and obtain statements from any witnesses. You may find that the aggressive driver who caused the crash is unwilling to cooperate afterwards. If so, obtain as much information as you can and report the incident to your local police department.
The most important thing you can do if you’re injured is to seek immediate medical attention. Be sure to keep a record of the dates and times of your appointments as well as the doctor’s prescribed treatment. If you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, be sure to keep all medical bills you receive for treatment related to the accident.
You Deserve Fair Compensation for Your Injuries
A car accident can cause extreme financial stress. Besides the seemingly never-ending healthcare expenses, you’re also missing time from work and may need to repair or replace your vehicle as well. Crystal Collins Spencer, Attorney at Law, understands the frustration of car accident victims. She will work hard to pursue your right to fair compensation due to the aggressive driving actions of the other party. Please contact the office nearest you for a free initial legal consultation. Ms. Spencer maintains law offices in Pensacola at 850-912-8080, Sandestin at 850-424-6683, and Fort Walton Beach at 850-200-4652.