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Aggressive driving can cause fatal accidents

Aggressive drivers are a persistent and dangerous problem for law enforcement agencies, and researchers with the American Automobile Association concluded in 2009 that this type of behavior was a factor in more than half of the fatal accidents that took place on American roads between 2003 and 2007. While Connecticut residents may associate aggressive driving with road rage incidents, the National Highway Traffic Administration defines aggressive driving as violations of motor vehicle laws that place other road users or their property in peril.

AAA researchers also found that motorists send out very mixed signals when the subject of aggressive driving is raised. Eight out of ten of the drivers polled by the organization in 2012 agreed that aggressive driving was a serious concern, but more than half of those surveyed admitted to exceeding posted speed limits by 15 percent or more on a regular basis. Speeding is the most common and the deadliest form of aggressive driving according to the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Excessive speed was a factor in almost one in five fatal accidents in 2014 according to FARS. Other forms of aggression behind the wheel that often lead to tragedy include drunk driving, following the vehicle ahead too closely and attempting ill-advised or illegal passing maneuvers. One in four drivers view speeding as acceptable behavior according to the AAA, and road safety advocates say that public awareness campaigns are called for to rectify this kind of thinking.

Crashes involving avoiding reckless drivers can be challenging for personal injury attorneys pursuing compensation for accident victims. Few drivers readily admit to speeding or tailgating immediately prior to a collision, and police reports may not always provide the evidence necessary to establish negligence in car accident lawsuits. In these situations, attorneys may canvass accident scenes for security cameras that may have captured the events in question on film or witnesses who could have been overlooked by accident investigators.

Source: The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, "Aggressive Driving", accessed on Oct. 29, 2016

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