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What is Considered Aggressive Driving? - Most Common Examples of Aggressive Driving

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What is Considered Aggressive Driving?

What is Considered Aggressive Driving?

Nov 8, 2021

When we think of aggressive driving, examples of road rage or driver-on-driver violence might typically come to mind. But aggressive driving can actually involve a number of unsafe behaviors on the part of motorists.

Below we will review how aggressive driving is defined, provide some common examples, and discuss how to file a personal injury lawsuit in pursuit of financial compensation if you’re ever harmed by an aggressive driver.

What is Considered Aggressive Driving?

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, the term ‘aggressive driving’ covers a range of unsafe driving behaviors, including speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, or any combination of these activities. Although most drivers have encountered these types of unsafe driving behaviors while on the road, the National Conference of State Legislators admits that it is “difficult for legislatures to completely define aggressive driving.”

However, as of 2017, 15 states including California have passed laws aimed at aggressive drivers. In most cases, these laws establish an aggressive driving offense as well as fines and penalties for committing such an act.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property.”

Additionally, AAA defines aggressive driving as “any unsafe driving behavior performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety.”

Common Examples of Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving can come in a number of forms. The most common examples of aggressive driving, according to AAA, include:

  • Speeding in heavy traffic
  • Tailgating
  • Cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down
  • Running red lights
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes

Law aggregator website JD Supra offers some additional examples of aggressive or dangerous driving:

  • Failing to obey stop signs, yield signs, and other traffic signals
  • Driving illegally on the shoulder or sidewalk
  • Passing in zones where passing is prohibited
  • Failing to signal turns or lane changes
  • Erratic and unsafe lane changes
  • Running red lights
  • Ignoring other drivers
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Driving reckless or negligent
  • Taking frustrations out on other motorists

If you’ve been the victim of an aggressive driving car accident involving an injury, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Securing the representation of a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can help ensure you recover the maximum financial damages award you deserve.

How Common is Aggressive Driving?

How Common is Aggressive Driving?

2019 data compiled by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that nearly 80% of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the previous 30 days.

That’s a particularly disturbing statistic indicating the extreme prevalence of aggressive driving on our nation’s roads and highways.

From AAA’s data, respondents admitted to engaging in the following “angry and aggressive behaviors” within 30 days of the survey being conducted:

  • Aggressive driving by switching lanes quickly/or very close behind another car: 26% (57 million drivers)
  • Made rude gestures or honked at other drivers: 32% (71 million drivers)
  • Driven 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway: 48% (106 million drivers)
  • Driven through a red light: 31% (68 million drivers)
  • Passed in front of a vehicle at less than a car length: 22% (49 million drivers)
  • Speeded up when another vehicle tried to overtake you: 25% (55 million drivers)
  • Followed vehicle in front of you closely to prevent another vehicle from merging in front of you: 34% (75 million drivers)
  • Merged into traffic even when another driver tries to close the gap between vehicles: 28% (62 million drivers)

Does California Have an Aggressive Driving Law?

Does California Have an Aggressive Driving Law?

Yes, California Vehicle Code 23103 defines aggressive or reckless driving as a criminal act. According to Vehicle Code 23103:

  1. A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
  2. A person who drives a vehicle in an offstreet parking facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in Section 40008, persons convicted of the offense of reckless driving shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided in Section 23104 or 23105.

In addition to classifying aggressive driving as a criminal offense, California recognizes the act as a type of automobile crime. A number of dangerous activities can be considered criminal offenses under California law, including:

Can I Recover Financial Compensation After an Aggressive Driving Accident Injury?

Aggressive driving is a type of fault that can make drivers and/or passengers injured in an accident as a result of such negligence eligible for significant financial compensation for various losses sustained. By filing a personal injury civil lawsuit, injured aggressive driving victims can seek compensation for a number of damages, such as:

  • Hospital and medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Psychological distress
  • Emotional trauma
  • Uncapped punitive damages for wanton or reckless behavior

If you experienced a premises liability injury, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

With Dordulian Law Group (DLG), an injured car accident victim can have peace of mind knowing that our experience and proven results will help ensure their case is handled properly and has the absolute best chance of reaching a successful conclusion. DLG’s founder and president, Sam Dordulian, previously served as a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, helping to secure life sentences against some of our most violent and dangerous criminals.

Today, Dordulian and his team of trusted car accident lawyers fight to recover maximum financial compensation for injured victims like you. With over $100 million recovered in settlements and verdicts for our injured clients while maintaining a 98% success record, we’re here to fight for you in your hour of need.

For a free and no obligation consultation with one of our Car Accident Division lawyers, contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056. With DLG, you never pay a penny until we recover maximum financial compensation for your aggressive driving car accident injury.


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