Frustration behind the wheel is nearly inevitable. Traffic congestion, bad weather, slow-moving vehicles, and even boredom on a long trip can leave drivers irritated and impatient. Sometimes, these feelings lead drivers to act aggressively behind the wheel. While aggressive driving is dangerous in any vehicle, it is especially risky when a driver is behind the wheel of a semi-truck. The large size and heavyweight of a truck makes it much more damaging in a crash. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA), large trucks and buses were involved in over 4,000 fatal crashes in 2013. Though many factors contribute to accidents, aggressive driving and road rage do play a significant role in many serious crashes.
Signs of Aggressive Driving
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines an aggressive driver as someone who commits “a combination of moving traffic offenses” that endanger other people or property. It is important to recognize an aggressive driver on the road. Some common warning signs include:
- Tailgating. Following too closely behind the leading vehicle is dangerous. It’s harder to stop in an emergency, and it is known to intimidate many drivers.
- Speeding. Though common, speeding is against the law. Drivers may also use their speed to prevent other drivers from passing or merging.
- Swerving. Aggressive drivers may swerve or cut off other drivers to intimidate them or force them off the road.
- Swearing and inappropriate gestures. If other drivers see you swear or make rude gestures at them, it may lead them to retaliate.
- Honking or flashing lights. These car features were intended for safety—not to convey angry messages to other drivers.
Shared Responsibility on the Road
Statistics show that when commercial trucks and passenger cars crash, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are injured and killed more often. Of those 2013 fatal truck accidents, the car passengers were killed 67 percent of the time.
All drivers share a responsibility to drive safely on roadways. When drivers let their emotions spill over into aggressive driving and road rage, the risk of a serious accident increases.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, and you believe road rage played a role, contact the experienced legal team at Tapella Law for a no-obligation case analysis at (217) 394-5885.