Rolling down your windows and driving while listening to your favorite music is an enjoyable moment, even if you are heading to work. For many people, it is the only time they get to themselves! However, encountering aggressive driving is a frequent unfortunate situation, leading to stressful and even dangerous results. Road rage is an unfortunate ‘disease’ of our times, and we need to be constantly aware of our surrounding environment.
Poor driving skills combined with impatience on the driveway can lead to disastrous accidents for anyone around these aggressive drivers. Speeding, drivers racing one another, unpredictable lane changes when failing to signal are incidents that an everyday driver can encounter, putting them in danger of a serious automobile collision.
This aggressive driving phenomenon may be on the rise because of more registered automobiles, more traffic congestion, or longer distances traveled by drivers.
The fatality statistics for various aggressive driving behaviors reported by the Insurance Information Institute for 2017 are remarkable. Aggressive driving counts for approximately 38% of fatal car accidents, categorized as follows:
- 8,856 deaths due to racing or speeding
- 3,961 deaths due to careless driving
- 2,905 deaths due to failure to obey signals, traffic signs, or officer
- 1,996 deaths due to negligent driving
The above numbers do not contain the number of crash-related injuries that had severe results in the injured drivers’ lives. Auto accident’s consequences can be anything from superficial car damage to suffering a brain injury, leading to lifetime paralysis.
Over and above human cost, it is estimated that aggressive driving accidents cost the insurance companies $40 billion annually, translated into higher insurance rates for all of us. Each year drivers are being charged higher insurance premiums to help insurance companies cover their losses.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries from a vehicle accident due to aggressive driving behavior, you should seek advice from a Charlotte car accident lawyer.
Definition of Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving behavior also called “road rage” tends to result in vehicle accidents and severe traumas to other drivers driving along. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes it as:
- Running stop lights and signs
- Making vehicle maneuvers
- Following too closely other vehicles
- Weaving through traffic
- Yelling at other drivers
- Angry gestures
- Engaging in confrontation
- Physical assault
- Wrongful death
Is Aggressive Driving a Crime?
Aggressive driving is a punishable crime under North Carolina law as a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is different from reckless driving. This is a serious offense to be charged with. According to the statute, when “driving a motor vehicle on a street, highway, or public vehicular area carelessly and heedlessly in a willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others,” an aggressive driving offense occurs.
To prove aggressive driving in North Carolina, two of the following offenses must coexist:
- Following too closely the other vehicle (tailgating)
- Failure to stop at a red light
- Failure to stop at a stop sign
- Illegal passing
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
Being convicted for aggressive driving means guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is crucial to comprehend two different legal processes; criminal conviction trial and civil personal injury trial.
A criminal can be convicted for aggressive driving, but whether he is liable for damages will be determined in the civil lawsuit, a separate procedure. However, an aggressive driving conviction can help the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit by using evidence from the criminal trial to prove negligence and receive compensation from the driver at-fault.
When you or someone you love is injured due to someone else’s aggressive driving, you need to consult a North Carolina car accident lawyer to help you claim you financial but also non-financial damages as you deserve. As a victim, you are entitled to recover the following losses:
- Disciplinary damages for aggressive driving behavior of the driver at-fault
- Coverage for renting a car until you own is repaired or replaced
- Cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Psychological distress
- Pain and suffering due to the auto crash
- Loss of income now and in the future due to the car accident
- All medical expenses connected to the accident
Contact today the law firm of Ted A. Greve & Associates for your free consultation to learn about your legal rights and how to protect yourself and your loved ones. Our team of expert lawyers will help you go through this challenging situation with the best possible outcome and recover fully from the harmful consequences you suffer due to someone’s aggressive driving.