Aggressive Driving Accident Lawyers
Nearly everyone has encountered an aggressive driver on the road. These drivers may speed down, tailgate or follow too closely in traffic, cut off other drivers with no regard for safety, or disobey traffic signals. These behaviors are not just annoying—in one study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that aggressive driving maneuvers contributed to 56% of fatal traffic accidents.
When an aggressive driver causes an accident or an injury, that person should be held responsible for his or her actions in court. The Fernandez & Hernandez lawyers are experienced in dealing with legal claims including claims against aggressive drivers. If an aggressive driver in Tampa was the legal cause of an accident, or that you or a loved one were seriously injured, our Tampa accident attorneys can help you get justice after someone else’s reckless behavior causes an injury.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
When a person is an aggressive driver, he or she maneuvers a vehicle in a way that increases the risk of an accident. Florida is one of only 11 states that have specifically defined the offense of aggressive driving in their state statutes.
In Florida, a person can receive a ticket for aggressive driving if he or she engages in two or more of the following behaviors at once or in succession:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit;
- Improperly or unsafely changing lanes;
- Failure to yield the right of way;
- Improper or dangerous passing; or
- Failure to obey traffic control devices
It all sounds pretty reasonable, correct? Although there is a separate aggressive driving statute, there are no additional penalties for violating this law. It is essentially kept on the books as a method in which statistics may be tracked on accidents involving aggressive driving. Aggressive driving and road rage, in many instances, blend together. Obviously, there are instances of road rage, such as waiving or discharging a gun which is well beyond the concept which I am discussing. Where the line blurred is when driving becomes frustrated and acts in an aggressive and dangerous manner due to the frustration.
Driving Tips to Avoid Aggressive Drivers
With all of the information out there, I still see drivers engaging one another in an aggressive manner on a regular basis. The St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa metropolitan area rank as some of the most dangerous in the country. It is estimated that the vast majority of accidents are caused by driver error including aggressive driving and distracted driving. The logical question is how can I keep me and my family as safe as possible on some of the country’s most dangerous roads? In theory, it is simple, but sometimes human nature gets in the way:
- Get out of the way of erratic drivers
2. Do not remain in the left lane when other drivers are attempting to pass
3. Do not challenge aggressive drivers
4. Report aggressive driving when seen
5. Give the aggressive driver the benefit of the doubt; and
6. Remain calm
Another real tragedy associated with instances of aggressive driving or road rage is that many times the injured party was not the aggressive driver or even the object of his rage, but nearby drivers unaware of what was transpiring or pedestrians or bicyclists who are completely unable to protect themselves from this type of situation.
What Can I Recover for Against an Aggressive Driver Under Florida Law?
Legal Compensation a claim may include for an auto, car or motor vehicle accident with an aggressive driver may include:
- Wage loss
- Damages for Pain and Suffering
- Future medical bills
- Out of pocket expenses
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Compensation for a permanent injury
- Inability to lead a normal life
- Emotional and psychological harms
Every year, Florida police specifically target aggressive drivers through their TACT campaign. The campaign, which stands for Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks, focuses on raising awareness of the dangers of aggressive driving and punishing those who disobey state law and endanger other motorists. This period of increased enforcement usually lasts for 2-3 weeks and results in thousands of aggressive driving traffic tickets across the state.
While there is no additional statutory punishment for aggressive driving, the checked box on the traffic indicates to a judge or jury that the person who was ticketed engaged in extraordinarily reckless behavior. As a result, the driver may face stiffer punishments or sentencing in a criminal case or traffic court case. For example, the driver might be required to complete a traffic course specifically addressing aggressive driving.
Aggressive drivers may also face additional consequences in civil court. When an aggressive driver causes an accident, an injured person will usually sue for damages on the basis of negligence. When a driver has already been ticketed for aggressive driving, it serves as evidence that he or she was not operating the vehicle in a safe manner and will strengthen the injured person’s case.