Avoiding Aggressive Driving and “Road Rage” from a Phoenix Accident Attorney
As a Phoenix accident attorney, I know that avoiding a collision and protecting your passengers is your first priority. The number of auto accidents occurring in Arizona that can be attributed to aggressive driving or road rage has progressively increased. In fact, reports of violent traffic incidents have increased nearly 7 percent per year since 1990.
- There is a difference. Aggressive driving is a traffic offense; road rage is a criminal offense.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” Examples of which include speeding or driving too fast for conditions, improper lane changing, tailgating and improper passing.
- Road rage is defined by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”
Aggressive driving can easily escalate into an incident of road rage. Motorists should keep their cool in traffic, be patient and courteous to other drivers, and correct unsafe driving habits that are likely to endanger, antagonize or provoke other motorists. When coming in contact with a hostile driver, DPS advises:
- Avoid eye contact with an agitated driver and ignore any gestures directed at you.
- Don’t take your eyes off the road.
- Stay cool and don’t react to provocation. Being a passive driver does not reflect on your character in any way; it just helps ensure that you will arrive at your destination with little or no disruption in your travels.
- Keep away from drivers behaving erratically.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
Aggressive driving and road rage can result in property damage to a vehicle, personal injury or even traffic fatalities. A victim of a road rage accident, or an accident resulting from another’s aggressive driving violation, should consult with an experienced Arizona auto accident lawyer to discuss their claim. Stay safe!