A 2016 study by AAA found that approximately 80 percent of drivers experienced some level of anger or aggression while driving over the course of the last year. They may have felt angry if a driver in the left lane would not move over or someone was driving too slowly. The same study found:
- 47 percent of drivers have yelled at other drivers.
- 51 percent of drivers have purposely tailgated.
- 45 percent of drivers have honked their horn as a show of annoyance.
- 33 percent of drivers have made some type of angry gesture at another driver.
- 24 percent of drivers admitted to blocking another vehicle from merging or changing lanes.
It’s unsafe and illegal to operate a vehicle aggressively, and if you’re injured in an accident with an angry driver, you may be owed compensation.
Aggressive Driving Defined
Aggressive behavior is any type of deliberate action taken by one driver with some type of ill intention for another driver that disregards the safety of all drivers. Some examples of road rage and aggressive driving include:
- Cutting in front of someone and slowing down
- Speeding when there’s significant traffic
- Tailgating another driver
- Weaving between traffic
- Blocking cars from merging
If you see another driver operating his vehicle this way, don’t engage with him or react. Do your best to stay out of that driver’s way. If you are in an accident with an aggressive driver, gather any information you can about the incident.
How to Spot Someone Driving Aggressively
It’s not always easy to spot aggressive drivers because they may be several cars behind you. However, there are signs that a driver is experiencing road rage or aggression when you see the driver:
- Dart in and out of traffic
- Speed up and slow down
- Get too close to other vehicles on the sides or from behind
- Honk or make aggressive gestures
- Use braking or headlights to distract another driver
Road rage is much like aggressive driving but tends to take things one step further. The driver may:
- Throw objects at cars
- Make obscene gestures
- Force a driver off the road
- Hit another driver with a car
- Create a dangerous driving condition by changing lanes and slamming on the brakes
New Alabama Anti-Road Rage Act
Alabama’s Anti-Road Rage Act went into effect in 2019. One component of the Act states that drivers in the left lane may only stay in that lane for one and a half miles before they must merge back to the right. The goal of the Act is to help prevent situations where drivers engage in aggressive or road rage behavior.
Those who fail to follow the law will face a ticket with a fine of $200; however, the Act has some exemptions. These include when there is heavy traffic, road construction, or poor weather conditions.
How This Act Impacts Your Car Accident Case
If you’re in a car accident with a driver that hits you in the left lane, it will be important to document the incident carefully. For example, if you are traveling in the left lane for numerous miles, beyond what this new Act allows for, this can impact your ability to file a claim for compensation. It’s very important to work closely with an attorney to ensure you never file a claim with wording that could suggest your own negligence.
Possible Damages From an Aggressive Driving Car Accident
When you’ve suffered losses as a result of aggressive driving, contact your personal injury attorney in Alabama as a first step. This ensures that all types of losses you’ve suffered as a result of that accident are addressed, including:
- Medical losses, including medical bills from emergency care, surgeries, and rehabilitation
- Damage to your vehicle
- Loss of wages
- Loss of the ability to work
- Pain and suffering
Why You Need a Lawyer
Hiring an attorney for your aggressive driving case ensures you have all of the information you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait for an insurance company to approve your claim. Allow our team at Lattof & Lattof, PC to help you. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.