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Angry driver yelling out window.

Aggressive driving, which is responsible for thousands of auto accidents in Florida each year, is listed as one of eight areas of emphasis in Florida's 2016 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP).

Aggressive driving is a significant problem in the United States overall and often leads to accidents, property damage, injury and death.

What is Aggressive Driving?

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."

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, aggressive driving occurs when a driver is engaged in two or more of the following:

  • Speeding: Going faster than the posted speed limit or exceeding a safe speed for road conditions such as inclement weather or construction can not only put drivers at risk, but endanger road workers as well.
  • Making improper lane changes or passing: Making frequent lane changes in order to get in front of other drives and weaving in and out of lanes puts you and others in grave danger.
  • Following too closely: Tailgating can lead to a serious car accident, resulting in possible injuries or fatalities to you or those around you.
  • Running red lights: Entering an intersection when the light is yellow, running red lights, and failing to obey stop signs, yield signs, railroad crossings and other road signs are illegal.
  • Not paying attention: Texting, talking on the phone, eating or putting on makeup can lead to aggressive driving and ultimately result in injury or death
  • Excessive anger. Making hand gestures, cursing, screaming, and yelling at others makes it more likely that you will be involved in a dangerous road rage incident.

Safe Driving

Acting irresponsibly on the road can result in a major car accidents, injury or death. You may be so used to driving a certain way that you become unaware that you're driving aggressively.

If you find yourself engaging in any of these bad habits, there are things you can do to improve your driving:

  • Pay attention when you’re driving
  • Avoid speeding and running red lights
  • Plan ahead and leave early so there is no need to exceed the legal speed limit
  • Relax while you’re driving by listening to your favorite music at a moderate volume
  • Breathe: If you start feeling agitated while driving, take three deep breaths to calm yourself

What To Do If You Encounter An Aggressive Driver

Encountering aggressive drivers on the road can be terrifying, but there are ways to cope and keep your cool.

  • Avoid conflict: Do not make eye contact or return rude gestures with aggressive drivers. It will only escalate the situation.
  • Let an aggressive driver pass: If a driver is tailgating you, get out of the way. Do not speed up or race with him or her. Taking the high road could save a life.
  • Report aggressive driving to law enforcement: If you encounter a dangerous aggressive driver, pull over and call the police or highway patrol to report it.

In Florida, law enforcement agencies take aggressive driving very seriously. Their goal is to save lives, and officers are always on the lookout for and citing speeding and aggressive drivers.

When you are on the road, stay alert, mindful and aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep your cool. If you do get caught up in a moment of aggressive driving, think about what it is like to be on the receiving end of aggression.

Try being a defensive driver, and remember that the posted speed limit is the law. Driving safely can help you avoid costly traffic tickets, serious accidents, insurance premium increases and save lives. That supposedly urgent phone call or text can wait. Safely arriving at your destination is worth the effort.

We Can Help

If you have been injured in a car accident with an aggressive driver, our experienced personal injury attorneys help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Lowman Law Firm in Hernando County at 352-796-0016 or call toll-free at 866-9-LOWMAN.

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