Aggressive driving is something that most of us encounter daily. It is extremely dangerous and is the cause of hundreds of Pennsylvania and New Jersey auto accidents each year. In order to protect yourself and your passengers when you are driving, you need to know how to spot an aggressive driver and act appropriately if you are in a dangerous situation with someone who is driving dangerously.
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Sometimes spotting an aggressive driver is pretty easy. Someone swerving between lanes on I-476 going 90 mph is easily recognizable as an aggressive driver, but some of the signs and actions are not so blatant. Some drivers may seem frustrating or rude, but are they really aggressive?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as, “when individuals commit a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Some actions of an aggressive driver may include:
- Erratic or unnecessary lane changes
- Cutting off other vehicles
- Blocking other vehicles from merging
- Quick acceleration
- Exceeding posted speed limits
- Following too closely
- Slamming brakes
- Disobeying traffic control devices, such as stop signs and lights
- Abrupt maneuvers
- Cursing, yelling, or gesturing at other drivers
- Honking horn
- Flashing headlights
Even if you are a very safe and courteous driver, that does not mean that other drivers on the road will follow suit. You must always be prepared for an encounter with an aggressive driver and react appropriately. If you notice or are confronted by an aggressive driver, you should:
- Safely move out of the way – If you can safely do so, let the other driver pass or merge.
- Swallow your pride – Do not get upset that the other driver is cutting in front of you or driving recklessly. Do not try to keep them from passing, as this will only add fuel to the fire.
- Do not return aggressive behaviors – Do not race the other vehicle, try to keep them from passing or merging, make eye contact, or return obscene gestures. Stay calm and ignore their taunting behaviors.
- Take down descriptions – When it is safe to do so, take down the description of the vehicle, such as make, model, color, license plate, and direction traveling.
- Report the aggressive driver to authorities – Once you are out of harm’s way, contact the local authorities to report the aggressive driver.
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a Pennsylvania or New Jersey car wreck because of an aggressive driver, you need to contact a Pennsylvania car crash lawyer at Cordisco & Saile. Our Pennsylvania auto accident attorneys will help you understand your rights and options after a Pennsylvania or New Jersey car accident.