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What influence does aggressive driving have on fatal crash risk?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2023 | Motor vehicle accidents |

There is a popular saying that he who hesitates is lost, and that certainly seems to be the case when individuals are navigating heavy traffic. Those who pause at an intersection may see others zip around them or proceed through a four-way stop when they do not have the right of way. Waiting too long to merge might mean losing the opportunity to do so.

Drivers often have to become a bit more aggressive on the road than they might be when conducting their day-to-day lives. Of course, it is possible to over-correct and become so aggressive that a motorist incurs a higher-than-normal risk in traffic. There is, after all, a strong correlation between aggression on the road and personal collision risk.

A large number of crashes start with aggressive driving

There are many ways in which aggressive driving increases someone’s overall collision risk. Aggressive drivers may not properly communicate with other motorists. They may let their emotions dictate their actions, which leads to erratic and unpredictable maneuvers and potentially a crash. Drivers who swerve or turn too quickly can lose control and might cause a wreck.

Federal crash statistics support the idea that the chance of a fatal crash increases with someone’s level of aggression at the wheel. According to a review of multiple years of crash data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 56% of fatal crashes involved some degree of aggressive driving. Of the various types of aggressive driving reviewed, speeding with the most common.

Aggressive driving might lead to a citation

When people report that someone was aggressive at the wheel prior to a crash, a police officer putting together a report about the wreck may very well declare the aggressive driver at fault for the crash. Witness statements, camera footage or other evidence affirming that someone weaved in and out of traffic, exceeded the speed limit or tailgated could very easily lead to an officer declaring them the party at all for a crash.

Such aggressive driving may also open the door to a personal injury lawsuit, as being too aggressive is potentially negligent or may be classified as misconduct if someone violates state traffic statutes. As such, understanding the strong association between aggressive driving behavior and crash risk may help those involved in a wreck more effectively pursue justice from the driver at fault for a collision.