Aggressive driving is an increasingly serious traffic safety problem which can result in sudden and violent car crashes producing injuries or fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that aggressive driving has now become a serious problem on our roadways. Aggressive driving behaviors can include speeding, running stop signs or red lights, illegally driving on the shoulder, preventing others from passing, weaving and improper lane changes. NHTSA says that aggressive driving occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Similarly, the Colorado State Patrol observes that aggressive drivers put other motorists at significant risk of injury or death from auto accidents.
Speeding is usually one of the components of aggressive driving. Indeed, it would be a rare event for speeding not to be one of the moving traffic violations committed by an aggressive driver. Motivations for Speeding, a report commissioned by NHTSA, concludes that aggressive driving greatly increased the odds of speeding. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association says that speeding claims the lives of 10,000 people a year. Moreover, speeding was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes in 2012. The purely economic costs of speeding are staggering. Speed-related crashes cost Americans 40 billion dollars each year in medical bills and lost work productivity.
If speeding is coupled with running stop signs or red lights, the results could be catastrophic for the occupants of other vehicles. This would be especially true if the aggressive driving resulted in an intersectional head-on collision or a T-bone collision. Not surprisingly, a 2011 American Automobile Association survey revealed that nearly 90 percent of drivers viewed aggressive driving as a serious threat to their safety.
The Colorado State Patrol intends to identify and target certain roads for intensified enforcement in order to deter aggressive driving behavior. In addition, Colorado has stepped up educational efforts to make drivers aware of the problems posed by aggressive driving. Importantly, Colorado wants you to report aggressive drivers if at all possible. If you see an aggressive driver, call Star CSP (*277). The CSP has said that, since it began taking calls about aggressive drivers, it has received more than 230,000 reports of aggressive drivers.
If you encounter an aggressive driver, the CSP advises that you should avoid them by getting out of their way. Furthermore, do not make eye contact with an aggressive driver nor give any indication of disapproval of their driving behavior. Finally, contact the CSP as soon as safely possible and be prepared to provide the following information: vehicle description, license plate number, location and the direction of travel.
Aggressive driving leads to auto accidents which can cause personal injuries. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, new findings from an automobile injury study reveal that medical expenses reported by auto injury claimants continue to increase faster than the rate of inflation. This increase in medical expenses is occurring in spite of the fact that the severity of the injuries sustained remains on a downward trend due to safer vehicles. Thus, if you are injured in an automobile accident caused by an aggressive driver, the medical expenses-not to mention lost wages-could be significant.
Colorado law affords victims of negligent motorists a right to seek compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of an aggressive driver, you should call an attorney. An attorney experienced in handling motor vehicle traffic accident cases can advise you on how to seek compensation from the person who caused your injuries.