How Aggressive Driving Leads to Car Accidents

Posted On June 21, 2021 Car Accidents
Car Accidents Caused by Aggressive Driving | The Flood Law Firm

Driving carelessly increases the risk of an accident. Although many different behaviors behind the wheel can increase the risk of a collision, aggressive driving is one of the most dangerous.

Aggressive drivers ignore the rules of the road, endangering themselves, their passengers, and others in the process. In extreme cases, aggressive driving can give way to road rage – a state of anger so intense that the driver may actively try to harm other drivers.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an aggressive driving accident, the Connecticut car accident attorneys at The Flood Law Firm can help you pursue compensation from the driver at fault for the crash.

What Is Aggressive Driving?

The legal definition of aggressive driving varies by jurisdiction. In many cases there is a significant overlap between aggressive driving and reckless driving.

Connecticut law does not have a specific definition of aggressive driving. However, certain behaviors that may qualify as aggressive are included in the state’s Reckless Driving Law, including:

  1. “[Driving] at a speed that endangers the life of any person other than the vehicle driver”;
  2. “[Driving] at more than 85 miles per hour”
  3. Intentionally tailgating

Ultimately, the difference between reckless driving and aggressive driving often comes down to intent. Some drivers make the reckless decision to exceed the speed limit. If a driver is speeding to race another vehicle or dangerously pass someone, however, this may constitute aggressive driving.

Although speed is often a factor in aggressive driving accidents, other actions on the part of the at-fault driver can lead to these crashes as well:

  • Following vehicles too closely
  • Cutting another driver off when passing or merging into traffic
  • Ignoring red lights, stop signs, and other traffic signs and signals
  • Driving where motor vehicles are not permitted, such as a bike lane or the shoulder of the road
  • Making improper turns (such as turning right or left from the center lane)
  • Tailgating

It is important to gather evidence of the at-fault driver’s actions and intent. An experienced car accident attorney can investigate the crash for signs of aggression on the part of the other driver, including excess speed, tailgating, and more.

Reasons for Aggressive Driving

There is no excuse for driving unsafely. However, proving negligence on the part of an aggressive driver is a key part of your accident claim. Therefore, it is important to understand what leads to aggressive driving and road rage.

Some of the major causes of aggressive driving include:

  • Impatience: The number-one cause of most accidents involving careless driving is a lack of patience on the part of a driver. The urge to “make good time” or arrive at a destination as soon as possible often leads motorists to drive recklessly and even aggressively.
  • Stress: Many accident claims involving delivery drivers, truck drivers, and other commercial operators center around the oftentimes unrealistic timetables put in place by their employers. Anxiety over making a deadline can cause recklessness and aggression on the part of drivers who are often responsible for vehicles that are much heavier and larger than other cars on the road.
  • Anonymity: A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that drivers are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior if they were not easily identifiable. Therefore, drivers who believe themselves to be “anonymous” (i.e., driving with high-beams, having tinted windows on the vehicle, etc.) tend to drive more aggressively.
  • Intoxication: Excess consumption of alcohol can lead to aggressive behavior. If someone who has been drinking makes the irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel, they may be quick to anger. This, in combination with the poor judgment characteristic of drunk drivers, increases the risk of aggressive driving accidents.
  • Inexperience: Teen drivers can become easily overwhelmed when they have minimal experience behind the wheel. The stress of an unfamiliar situation can cause a number of reactions, including aggression. In some cases, teen drivers may emulate the bad behaviors they witness from parents, adult siblings, and others.
  • Anger: Some people are simply more prone to feelings of anger, impulsiveness, and other harmful emotions than others. On the road, this can translate into a wide range of aggressive driving behaviors.

Fundamentally, aggressive driving is a selfish action. It frequently arises from a sense that the rules of the road apply to others and not to oneself. The consequences of such a belief can be devastating.

Tragically, an accident is often the culmination of long periods of aggressive driving. Drivers can “get away” with such behavior for years before a collision occurs. If you or a loved one was unfortunate enough to cross paths with an aggressive driver who finally took things too far, it is important to contact an accident lawyer as soon as possible to start building your case.

Injured in an Aggressive Driving Accident? Speak to an Attorney Today

Aggressive drivers must be held accountable when their behavior endangers the public or causes an accident resulting in injury or death. In addition to criminal charges, reckless drivers may also face civil liability for the crashes they cause through negligent or malicious conduct.

If you have been injured or a loved one suffered injury or was killed in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, The Flood Law Firm can help. Every member of our team is committed to the successful resolution of your claim, pursuing the maximum compensation you and your family deserve. This includes taking cases to trial when insurance companies refuse to offer fair settlements.

Please call The Flood Law Firm at (860) 346-2695 today for a free case review. Our car accident attorneys serve clients harmed by aggressive driving and other forms of negligence in Middletown, Danbury, Waterbury, Bridgeport, and all of Connecticut.

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