Driving is a fact of life for many people across the United States. Unfortunately, car accidents have followed suit, also becoming commonplace amongst American drivers. According to the National Safety Council, there are about 10 million accidents involving motor vehicles each year. While only around 2 million of the accidents involve injuries, the average cost of an accident is tens of thousands of dollars. The number one cause of car accidents is driver error, which is sometimes the result of aggressive driving.
Aggressive driving is something that every driver on the road will come across at one time or another. While there are many anecdotal definitions of aggressive driving, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration defines it as “committing a combination of moving traffic violations so as to endanger other persons or property.”
Signs of aggressive driving include actions such as traveling at excess speeds, making frequent lane changes, tailgating, and running red lights. While some of these actions are part of everyday driving, they can rise to the level of aggressive driving when they put another in danger. It is important to note that aggressive driving and road rage are two different acts, as road rage has a criminal component, and can lead to one’s arrest in the state of Missouri.
Avoiding aggressive driving not only makes the roadways safer, but helps prevent avoidable accidents. Aggressive driving not only increases the chances of a person being involved in a car accident, but may also open him or her up to further liability by allowing a plaintiff to ask for punitive damages, along with compensatory ones, in a civil case.