Aggressive Driving Car Accident
Aggressive driving in North Carolina is a common cause of serious motor vehicle accidents. Speeding is one of the most common features of aggressive driving. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that in 2016, 9,717 people died in speeding-related car accidents in 2016. Aggressive driving can cause head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and other potentially fatal car accidents. Drivers who engage in aggressive driving do so intentionally. When an injured driver can prove that the at-fault driver acted intentionally recklessly in court and that the aggressive driving caused his or her injuries, he or she may be entitled to compensation.
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our attorneys understand the devastating impact suffering a severe injury can have on an individual and his or her family. The mounting medical bills and an inability to return to work can cause car accident victims extreme stress. If you or a family member have suffered injuries caused by an aggressive driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Successful plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for their medical costs, past, and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to the accident. Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.What Constitutes Aggressive Driving in North Carolina?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “committing a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." Aggressive driving often includes the following types of action:
- Changing lanes without using a signal
- Intentionally running a red light
- Speeding up when a yellow light occurs
- Making an improper or aggressive lane change
- Using excessive speeds
- Weaving in and out of lanes of traffic
- Drinking and driving
NHTSA conducted a survey that six in ten drivers said another driver's behavior resulted in a threat to them or their passengers within the last 12 months. The precise amount of aggressive driving is difficult to know with certainty. Many aggressive drivers drive aggressively for years before their aggressive driving causes a car accident. Nonetheless, there are several reasons why aggressive driving may be on the rise to include the following:
- More traffic congestion
- More registered motor vehicles
- More licensed drivers
- A greater number of total miles traveled by drivers
Aggressive driving does not always constitute road rage. Road rage is defined as "an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle or precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway." Aggressive driving is traffic that does not require intent to use the motor vehicle as a weapon against another driver or the passenger. For example, a driver could intentionally run a red light without intending to use his or her vehicle as a dangerous weapon as it happens in a road rage incident.North Carolina’s Aggressive Driving Law
North Carolina prohibits drivers from aggressive driving while operating a motor vehicle on the street, highway, or public vehicular area. North Carolina defines aggressive driving as “carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others.” In order to convict someone of aggressive driving, the prosecution must prove that the driver committed two or more of the following offenses:
- Drove through a red light
- Drove through a stop sign
- Engaged in an illegal passing of another vehicle
- Failure to yield to another car
- Following another car too closely, also known as tailgating
Drivers convicted of aggressive driving are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is important to note that criminal convictions and civil personal injury trials are two separate legal processes. A criminal court can convict a driver of aggressive driving, but that conviction doesn't guarantee that the injured party will win a civil lawsuit.
The plaintiff must file a civil lawsuit in order to receive compensation from the aggressive at-fault driver. A conviction of aggressive driving can help a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit, however. The plaintiffs may be able to use evidence from the criminal trial to prove that the driver was engaged in negligent or reckless driving when the accident occurred.We Can Help
If you have suffered an injury in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our Charlotte car accident law firm today to discover how our skilled attorneys can help you.