Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC

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Aggressive driving goes beyond road rage

Impatient, angry or frustrated drivers are a common problem in Montana and around the county, and efforts to curb aggressive driving are often stymied by the attitudes of motorists who fail to recognize the dangers posed by their own reckless driving habits. The vast majority of road users surveyed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2012 said that aggressive driving was either a serious or very serious issue, but about half of them also admitted that they regularly travel at speeds well in excess of posted limits.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that motorists drive aggressively when they ignore traffic laws and endanger the safety of other road users, and speeding is the most common form of aggressive driving according to the agency. About a quarter of the drivers polled by AAA felt that speeding was acceptable behavior, and road safety experts across the country believe that a concerted public awareness campaign is called for to address this kind of thinking.

Excessive speed was a factor in 18.8 percent of the fatal motor vehicle accidents that took place on America’s roads in 2014 according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System used by NHTSA. Other forms of aggressive driving that frequently result in serious crashes include following the car ahead too closely, attempting to pass when it is not safe to do so and weaving between lanes.

Speeding drivers who cause serious accidents sometimes face severe criminal penalties, and even those who avoid jail may lack the means required to pay significant compensation to their victims. When faced with these challenges, personal injury attorneys pursuing civil remedies on behalf of car accident victims may seek to reach a settlement with the negligent drivers’ insurers.

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Aggressive Driving”, accessed on Oct. 29, 2016