Dealing With Danger From Aggressive Drivers
Aggressive drivers, whether they are acting intentionally or unthinkingly, are a menace to other motorists as well as to pedestrians and cyclists on America’s roadways.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving played a role in 56 percent of fatal crashes from 2003 to 2007. Speeding was the leading cause of fatal crashes during that time period. Other types of aggressive driving that the NHTSA identified as causing serious accidents include:
- Improper lane changes
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Improper passing
- Failure to yield right of way
- Operating a vehicle erratically
The answer to what you should do if you encounter aggressive drivers on the roads lies in what not to do. Do not escalate the situation by yelling at the driver, gesturing rudely or suddenly applying your brakes if he or she is tailgating you. Do not challenge the driver with maneuvers of your own. In fact, ignore the aggressive driver as best you can.
If you do get into a collision with an aggressive driver, you should follow the usual best practices after an accident. These include the following:
- Get to safety — If possible, move your vehicle off the roadway to avoid having other cars hit you. Check to see if you or any of your passengers are hurt.
- Avoid a confrontation — An aggressive driver may react angrily or irrationally after a collision. Do not get into an argument over who was a fault. Keep a calm attitude and avoid all conversation as you wait for police to arrive.
- Call 911 — Making an immediate cellphone call to authorities will get police and emergency vehicles to the accident site sooner.
- Take photos — As discreetly as possible, take pictures of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved and their license plates. Also take shots of debris left by the crash and any skid marks or road damage that you notice.
- Talk to witnesses — If any passersby or pedestrians saw the accident occur, get their names and contact information. Also write down as much information as you observe about the crash site.
- Seek medical attention — If you have been hurt, even moderately, go to an emergency room or trauma center and get examined. Some types of injuries, like internal bleeding or nerve damage, are not apparent without a medical diagnosis.
If you were seriously injured and need to bring a lawsuit to recover damages, all of the foregoing steps could be helpful to your car accident attorney in reconstructing the accident and showing that the aggressive driving of the other driver was the principal cause.
Sperling Law Offices LLC in Milwaukee represents injured parties in car accident cases throughout Wisconsin. For personalized, attentive service from a skilled trial lawyer, call [in::phone] or contact us online to schedule a meeting with us.