What Is Aggressive Driving?
You’d be hard-pressed to travel on a road today, without seeing some sort of aggressive driving. However, you may not even know that what you’re witnessing is indeed aggressive driving. Some of the most common types of aggressive driving that could cause an accident include:
Failure to yield to the right-of-way
Passing in prohibited areas
Failure to signal
Making an improper turn
Failure to observe warnings or instructions on vehicles
Failure to obey traffic signs, traffic officers, or traffic control devices
Operating a vehicle in an erratic, careless, reckless, or negligent manner
Suddenly changing speeds
Illegal driving on the shoulder of the road, sidewalks, medians, or ditches
Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted limits
Failure to observe safety zone traffic laws
Although all aggressive driving is potentially dangerous and can cause grave injuries, speeding seems to be the most hazardous. In all fatal crashes that occurred in 2014, speeding was the contributing factor in 18.8 percent of the accidents. Additionally, failure to stay in the proper lane, failure to yield to the right-of-way, operating the vehicle in an improper manner, and failure to obey traffic signs were also some of the more common aggressive driver contributors.
Penalties of Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving is a matter that is not taken lightly in Washington, DC. In fact, the District has severe penalties for anyone who violates the law. According to DC Code 50-2201.04, a person can be charged with driving aggressively if he:
Operates a vehicle at a rate or speed at or greater than 30 miles per hours over the posted speed limit
Causes property damage in excess of $1,000
Causes bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another
If a person is found guilty of aggressive driving, the penalties he could face include:
First offense. Typically, the first time a person is found guilty of aggressive driving, he can be fined a maximum amount of $500 and spend up to 90 days in jail, depending on the severity of the injuries of the victim.
Second offense. Those who are found guilty of aggressive driving within two years of the first offense can receive fines in the maximum amount of $1,000 and spend up to 180 days in jail.
Third offense. If a driver has been found guilty of aggressive driving for a third time within a two-year period, he can face up to $2,500 in fines and spend up to a year in jail.
However, aggressive drivers can pay up to $250,000 in fines and serve 30 years or more in jail depending upon how many offenses have been committed and the severity of the injuries that were caused.
Aggressive Driving Victims Have Rights
As the victim of an aggressive driving accident, you may be suffering from a variety of injuries, including lacerations, broken bones, spinal fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and emotional trauma. You may also be facing thousands of dollars in bills, stemming from your medical treatments, time lost from work, and vehicle repairs.
Relying on the insurance company to give you the compensation you deserve to cover all of these expenses will likely end in disappointment and money out of your pocket—which isn’t fair. The attorneys at Kennedy Law Firm, LLP, believe that you should be able to hold those accountable for your injuries responsible for their negligence, and we want to help you do that. Schedule your appointment to speak with an attorney about your situation and start learning more about your rights.