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How do I deal with an aggressive North Carolina driver?

When aggressive drivers lose their temper and take unsafe actions behind the wheel, people’s lives are put at risk. Instances of road rage are terrifying to witnesses — even more so when you are the victim. Accidents involving aggressive drivers can result in serious injuries, medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. 

If you are looking for legal assistance after getting hurt in a collision with an aggressive driver, you can schedule a free consultation with a North Carolina car accident lawyer. They will evaluate your situation, explain your options, and help you determine how best to proceed based on your unique situation. If you choose to pursue a claim, they will be by your side to ensure your rights are upheld. 

What Is Aggressive Driving? 

Aggressive driving is any unsafe behavior that is performed intentionally and with ill will or disregard for safety. Hazardous or erratic drivers are a significant cause of concern for many road users, as their accidents contribute to a considerable number of accidents each year. 

Instances where aggressive driving escalates to intentional harmful acts are called road rage. Examples of road rage include forcing a vehicle off the road, yelling, throwing objects, ramming cars from behind, and sideswiping cars. 

In an effort to protect road users, North Carolina law provides legal recourse to victims of aggressive drivers. Anyone convicted of aggressive driving in the state is subject to a Class 1 misdemeanor. While law enforcement officers are using technology to target aggressive drivers, there is no way to predict when you will come into contact with one. That risk is why it is essential to always watch out for erratic drivers on the road, and when you are in an accident, do not hesitate to pursue a claim for your injury costs.

Facts and Statistics on Aggressive Driving 

According to the AAA Foundation’s Annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, millions of drivers engage in aggressive behaviors every day. According to AAA, drivers participated in the following behaviors 30 days before the survey:
 

  • Fifty-seven million drivers (26%) switched lanes quickly or while very close behind another car. 
  • Seventy-one million drivers (32%) made rude gestures or honked at other drivers. 
  • One hundred six million drivers (48%) drove at least 15 mph over the speed limit on a highway. 
  • Sixty-eight million drivers (31%) drove through a red light. 
  • Forty-nine million drivers (22%) passed in front of a vehicle with less than a car’s length behind them. 
  • Fifty-five million drivers (25%) speeded up when another vehicle tried to overtake them. 
  • Seventy-five million drivers (34%) tailgated vehicles in front of them to prevent other cars from merging in front. 
  • Sixty-two million drivers (28%) merged into traffic when another driver tried to close the gap between vehicles. 

While it is clear that many drivers participate in aggressive actions on the road, it is often in your best interest to assume driver errors are unintentional. Otherwise, you may fall victim to strong driving emotions that could cause you to lower your guard and engage in less-safe driving actions. Remember, however, that when you spot an aggressive driver, you should never assume they will behave rationally. Your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of the vehicles around you should take priority over an aggressive driver.  

Examples of Aggressive Driving 

Road rage is widespread in the United States. It can be exceptionally challenging to deal with an aggressive driver—especially as an inexperienced driver. To navigate a confrontational driving situation, it is first essential to recognize the signs of aggressive driving. Common examples include the following: 

  • Speeding in heavy traffic 
  • Tailgating 
  • Audible cursing or visible obscene gestures
  • Cutting in front of drivers and slowing down 
  • Running red lights
  • Ignoring yield signs 
  • Weaving in and out of traffic 
  • Blocking vehicles attempting to change lanes or pass 
  • Changing lanes without signaling 
  • Trying to “punish” other drivers with headlights or brakes 

To stay safe and avoid accidents and injuries, it is essential to be aware of the best practices for driving around aggressive road users.  

Tips for Staying Safe Near Aggressive Drivers  

If you find yourself in a situation with an aggressive driver, it is essential to know how to handle the situation as safely as possible. Consider the following tips: 

  • Keep control of your vehicle. Realizing you are near an aggressive driver is stressful, but it is crucial to keep control of your car. Remain calm, keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Focus solely on the task of driving. 
  • Follow the rules of the road. No matter what other drivers are doing around you, remember to use turn signals, maintain an adequate following distance, allow others to merge, and use/lower your high beams responsibly. 
  • Ignore the aggressive driver. If an aggressive driver resorts to abusive language or gestures, do your best to ignore the behavior. Making eye contact or attempting conversation could make the situation worse. 
  • Safely remove yourself from the situation. If an aggressive driver is getting too close to your vehicle, honking their horn repeatedly, or expressing other concerning behaviors, pull over in a safe location. Avoid speeding up or trying to get away from them, as you could end up causing an accident. 
  • Evaluate your driving behavior. If it is possible you were driving too slowly or were failing to indicate turns, correct those mistakes to avoid incensing other drivers in the future. 
  • Call the police. If an aggressive driver is persisting and following you, or you believe their driving is erratic and dangerous, do not hesitate to call the police. If you need to stop, remember to keep your vehicle locked and stay inside until assistance arrives. 

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in North Carolina When Aggressive Driving Results in Injury

If you have been involved in a crash with an aggressive driver, seeking legal representation from an experienced Charlotte Car Accident attorney could help you recover full and fair compensation for any accident-related expenses. It will also put the burden of dealing with insurance companies and other involved parties on your attorney, giving you the time you need to focus on your health. 

If you have been involved in a crash with an aggressive driver, you have legal rights and options. Auger & Auger attorneys help accident victims recover from their accident related damages to work towards getting their lives back in order. 

To get started with Auger & Auger, call us at 800-559-5741 or use our online contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation now.

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