Road Rage/Aggressive Driving - A Serious ProblemJune 21, 2013 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share
Drivers cutting other vehicles off, darting in and out of traffic at high rates of speed, forcing other vehicles off the road, following too closely, excessively honking horns, we've all seen these behaviors at some time while traveling on Florida's roads and highways. These behaviors are classified as aggressive driving or road rage.
In Naples, FL recently, a vehicle was traveling in the passing lane on Route 41 North when an SUV came up behind it. The SUV's driver, not being happy with the speed, became aggressive, driving much too closely to the front vehicle. The driver of the front vehicle, in turn, also became aggressive, and slowed his vehicle down to 10 mph in the passing lane making the situation worse. Fortunately, there was no accident, but there could have been a serious vehicle accident.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association), each year approximately 66% of traffic fatalities are at least partially caused by aggressive driving; and since 1990 there has been a 51 percent increase in road rage accidents.
The Florida Highway Patrol launched its 2012 Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks enforcement campaign to raise awareness and reduce injuries and fatalities as a result of commercial and motor vehicle crashes. During its campaign between February and May 2012, the Florida Highway Patrol issued more than 4,900 citations, 2,000 of which were associated with aggressive driving.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety (FMCS), established in January 2000, regulates the trucking industry. As part of its outreach program, the FMCS provides truckers and other drivers with tips for avoiding the consequences of road rage:
- Wind down before you crank it up. Avoid making other drivers angry by avoiding anger yourself.
- Anticipate situations and make plans accordingly. Regular traffic reports in most cities alert you to the traffic congestion. Learn alternate routes or leave for work earlier.
- Take action before stress and fatigue get to you. Learn to spot warning signs and act on them.
- If you plan a long journey, take it in stages. Do not remain behind the wheel for more than three hours without a break.
Be Patient & Pay Attention
- Don't yell or use obscene gestures.
- Don't block the passing lane. Stay to the right if you are obstructing the flow of traffic.
- Always signal when changing lanes. Use your horn sparingly.
- Don't tailgate.
- Cooperate and don't compete on the road. Let other drivers merge into traffic in an orderly fashion.
- Don't take another's actions personally. Everybody makes mistakes.
Avoid A Driving Assault
- Don't react to another driver's uncivil behavior--avoid eye contact and don't tailgate, accelerate, brake or swerve suddenly, which can be seen as confrontational.
- If confronted by an aggressive driver, go to the nearest police station if you continue to be hassled or think you are being followed.
- Lock your doors.
- When stopped in traffic, leave enough space to pull out from behind the car you are following.
- Don't be tempted to start a fight or carry any sort of weapon. These acts may provoke an assault.
"Aggressive driving and road rage are serious behaviors which may cause devastating injuries or death to those involved," says Florida Vehicle Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,600 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.