Aggressive driving and “road rage” have become serious problems nationwide in recent years, and Florida followed in the steps of several US states by enacting laws to penalize dangerous misconduct. State traffic laws define aggressive driving as driving at excessive speeds, making unsafe lane changes, “tailgating,” and cutting off another motorist while passing. A first-time offense could mean up to 90 days in jail, a fine ranging from $25 to $500, or both. The penalties get harsher with subsequent offenses, which are punishable by up to six months’ incarceration and fines up to $1,000.
Unfortunately, the threat of jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension are not sufficient to discourage all motorists from aggressive driving. Their outrageous conduct puts everyone on the road at an increased risk of crashes, and the injuries to victims are far more severe. You should consult with a Miami aggressive driving accident lawyer right away if you were hurt, but some tips may help you avoid being involved in such an incident.
Avoid Being a Target: Drivers often enter road rage mode after getting frustrated with traffic maneuvers by other motorists that, while legal, can be maddening. When traveling on multi-lane highways, do not drive slowly in the fast lane – even when you are doing the speed limit. If you spot a vehicle rapidly approaching in your rearview mirror, you should wait to attempt a passing move.
Heed Your Own Words: Though the statute on aggressive driving describes acts that could constitute a traffic violation, this concept refers to all types of conduct behind the wheel that indicate a reckless disregard for others’ safety. When thinking about ways to avoid aggressive driving accidents, you should also consider your own actions:
- Do not follow too closely when traveling behind a slower driver.
- Never flash headlights as a way to encourage a slower vehicle to move to the right lane.
- Refrain from any and all obscene or offensive gestures. Even shaking your head could be perceived as threatening.
Above all, do not approach driving a vehicle with a sense of winning. If you feel yourself trying to beat another motorist to a turn or driving erratically just to beat your fastest time to a destination, you could be the problem.
Tips if You Encounter an Aggressive Driver: Never engage a motorist whose actions appear reckless or driven by anger, do your best to safely get as far away as possible. If the aggressive driver does not withdraw, assess your surroundings to find a police station, government office, or other safe haven spot. Do not head home or any private residence. When you are able, dial 911 to report the incident to authorities.
Consult With Our Miami Aggressive Driving Accidents Attorneys About Remedies
For more information on your legal options after a Florida auto crash, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team. You can reach our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL by calling (305) 371-6000 or visiting us online.