Aggressive DrivingNovember 16, 2018
It has happened to most of us. We are driving to work, when we glance at the car next to us to see an angry, red-faced driver who may be offering offensive hand gestures or laying on the horn. Many times, the target of an aggressive driver does not even know what they did wrong.
A study conducted by AAA found that approximately 80 percent of drivers experienced one episode of aggressive driving this year. Aggressive driving can be defined as any form of unsafe driving that deliberately disregards the safety of others.
Examples of aggressive driving are:
- Speeding in traffic
- Cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down
- Running red lights
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes
Even more disconcerting is the fact that AAA data, analyzed between the years 2003 and 2007, indicates that over half of the total fatal crashes in the nation included at least one aggressive driver.
Protecting Against Road Rage
Although the terms are often used synonymously, road rage is an extreme and violent form of aggressive driving. Road rage usually results from an altercation between two vehicles and is considered a criminal act in Maryland.
Drivers who display road rage have the intent to harm the other driver. They may try to do so by ramming the other vehicle, throwing things at the other driver, or trying to run others off the road.
Like aggressive driving, we may suddenly find ourselves the target of a road rage incident with little warning. However, drivers can protect themselves and their passengers by refusing to react to an aggressive driver. This can eliminate the possibility that the incident will escalate to road rage.
AAA offers the following tips:
- Do not take it personally
- Be forgiving
- Avoid eye contact
- Do not respond with more aggression
- Maintain speed
- Do not tailgate
- Allow others to pass
- Use turn signals
- Be considerate with high beams
Penalties for Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Incidents
Some of the behaviors correlated with aggressive driving are things we all may do unintentionally. Therefore, Maryland’s aggressive driving law, TR§21-901.2, states that at least three traffic violations must be observed to charge a driver with aggressive driving.
For example, if a driver is observed speeding, passing on the right, and tailgating, they could face an aggressive driving charge.
Penalties for aggressive driving include tickets for the applicable traffic offenses, a fine of $370.00, and five points on the driver’s license.
While aggressive driving is considered a traffic violation, in Maryland road rage is considered a criminal offense, and is often accompanied by very serious charges like:
- Assault with a deadly weapon (i.e. a car)
- Reckless driving
- Public endangerment
If injuries or fatalities were a result of a road rage incident, the charges, fines, and jailtime will increase proportionately.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Those Injured in Aggressive Driving Accidents
If you are suffering injures due to an aggressive driving accident, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you may be entitled to. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.