Road rage: Accidents caused by aggressive drivers

Aggressive drivers engage in dangerous driving behaviors, which endanger the lives of other people on the road.

Many California motorists are familiar with driving in heavy traffic situations, especially during peak hours of the day. Some motorists may even admit to having feelings of aggression or road rage when they are trying to get to a meeting or appointment and are stuck behind a slow driver. According to AAA, nearly 80 percent of people say that they have experienced road rage at some point. The dangers come from the fact that more than one-half of all motor vehicle accident deaths involve aggressive driving. The dangerous driving habits of aggressive motorists put other people's lives at risk.

Driving behaviors

Although it is important that motorists are cautious at all times while driving, it is especially vital that they remain aware of the signs of an aggressive driver. These hazardous driving behaviors include the following:

· Excessive speeding

· Erratic lane changing

· Aggressive horn honking

· Running red lights and stop signs

· Tailgating

In addition to these actions, aggressive drivers tend to cut-off drivers and block them from changing lanes. They may use inappropriate hand gestures or yell obscenities to get the other driver's attention.

What to do

The best thing to do in these types of situations is to avoid eye contact. People should never engage in a road rage battle by returning rude gestures or yell back in defense. It is best to keep calm and try to stay out of the aggressive driver's path. In some cases, people may want to alert law enforcement to the location of the dangerous driver before that person injures or kills another person.

California reckless driving laws

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that 15 states in the nation have involved the topic of road rage in their legislation. Furthermore, 11 states specifically mention aggressive driving actions in their laws and regulations. California has included aggressive driving behaviors in their reckless driving laws. These statutes specifically state that people who drive in disregard of people or property are considered reckless drivers. People convicted of reckless driving may be subjected to a fine and possible jail time.

Obtaining legal counsel

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident involving an aggressive driver, you may be left with physical injuries, property damage and emotional trauma. You may be unable to return to work due to your injuries and be struggling to make ends meet. Those responsible for your accident should face the consequences that come with driving in a dangerous manner. You may want to seek counsel from a personal injury attorney who may help answer your questions, explore your legal rights and help you get back on track.