The Truth about Aggressive Drivers and the Law

If you live in a major metropolitan area like Milwaukee, there’s no denying that the commute to work or school may be one of the most frustrating aspects of your entire day. Indeed, it often seems as if your efforts to make it in on time are inevitably stymied by everything from stalled vehicles and inclement weather to road construction and like-minded motorists.

While most people take this reality in stride, content to sip their coffee or listen to the radio, there are others who deal with less than ideal traffic conditions in a less than productive manner. We call these individuals “aggressive drivers.”

What exactly is aggressive driving?   

Aggressive driving occurs whenever an individual operates his or her vehicle in a manner that is likely to endanger or actually endangers other motorists. Indeed, the majority of driving behaviors classified as aggressive are also illegal, including speeding, tailgating, running red lights and weaving.

How dangerous is aggressive driving?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as one-third of all motor vehicle accidents and roughly two-thirds of the resulting deaths are caused by aggressive driving maneuvers.

Are you an aggressive driver?

While most aggressive driving maneuvers are illegal, there are others that technically aren’t — but are still incredibly dangerous and which people may perform more often than they realize.

For instance, ask yourself whether you’ve gunned the engine to zoom through the intersection on a yellow light just as it turns red, or whether you’ve ever taken it upon yourself to cut off anyone attempting a zipper merge after sitting in traffic for a long time. If the answer is yes, then you’ve been an aggressive driver.

The point here isn’t to feel ashamed but to recognize the error and make the necessary changes.

What can people do to protect themselves from aggressive drivers?

Experts indicate that anyone confronted by an aggressive driver, whether through tailgating, weaving or hostile conduct (obscene gestures, flashing lights, honking, etc.) to resist the urge to respond in kind or otherwise engage.

Rather, they argue the best course of action is to follow the rules of the road and allow the aggressive driver to go on their way. In the event they persist, they advise contacting law enforcement when able to do so safely.

Always remember that if you’ve been seriously injured by the actions of a negligent motorist that you can seek justice for the harm you’ve endured.


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