Are Drivers Becoming More Aggressive than Ever?

Aggressive driving is a serious problem that plagues roadways in the U.S. Although many drivers keep their cool and are conscientious about safety, distracted and aggressive driving accidents are on the rise. At Johnson and Taylor, our vehicle accident lawyers strive to be aware of changing laws regarding aggressive driving to better serve our clients.

What is Aggressive Driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” Many motorists practice unsafe behaviors that are considered aggressive by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Aggressive driving examples include:

  • Tailgating
  • Running red lights
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Excessive speeding
  • Speeding in heavy traffic
  • Slowing down after cutting in front of another vehicle
  • Failing to signal when changing lanes
  • Preventing other cars from passing or changing lanes
  • “Punishing” other drivers with bright headlights or by sudden braking

In extreme cases, aggressive driving escalates to road rage. Obscene gestures, yelling, cursing, threatening, throwing objects, sideswiping, ramming, or forcing a driver off the road are all considered instances of road rage. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by distracted or aggressive driving, an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer can work to establish a car accident fault and help you pursue a personal injury claim.

Aggressive Driving Statistics

Car accidents, serious injuries, and motor vehicle fatalities caused by aggressive driving or road rage are increasing in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). From 2006 to 2015, fatal car crashes linked to aggressive driving climbed almost 500%. Today, an estimated 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by road rage and aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding. Aggressive driving is one of the most common contributors to car accident injuries and fatalities in Oregon as well.

According to a 2019 survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2019, nearly 80% of drivers experienced considerable anger, aggression, or road rage in the previous 30 days. An estimated 32% honked or made rude gestures at other drivers, 31% ran red lights, and 48% drove 15 mph or more over the speed limit on a highway.

What You Can Do to Prevent Aggressive Driving

In the heat of the moment, many drivers don’t consider the physical, emotional, and financial impact of being hurt or losing someone in an accident. Vehicle accident lawyers deal with the aftermath of aggressive driving crashes all too often. They offer some tips for managing your own behavior and dealing with aggressive motorists.

One of the simplest things you can do to avoid aggressive driving is to follow the rules of the road and practice defensive driving.

Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help If You’ve Been Hurt in an Aggressive Driving Crash

It can be challenging to establish fault in a car accident after an aggressive driving crash. Our personal injury lawyers at Johnson and Taylor thoroughly evaluate your case and advise you of your options for recovering compensation. Our car accident lawyers serve clients in Salem, Eugene, Bend, the Oregon Coast, Medford, and throughout Oregon. Our experienced team includes Spanish-speaking attorneys and staff who can assist you with your aggressive driving injury lawsuit or claim.