I Was Hit By an Aggressive Driver: Now What?

Hand man pushing car horn while driving car concept.

Whenever you get into a vehicle, there’s a chance you may encounter an aggressive driver. It’s estimated that 80% of drivers act aggressively while driving, and road rage is a contributing factor to more than half of all fatal car accidents. Typical instances of aggressive driving include situations when an aggressive driver is tailgating your vehicle, speeding, weaving through traffic, making gestures, or yelling.

What is an Aggressive Driver?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an aggressive driver is defined as someone who “commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." In other words, an aggressive driver is a person who drives recklessly, angrily, or without regard for the potential consequences that their actions may cause.

Most of these accidents occur during weekday rush hour commutes from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Drivers may be tired or stressed out from a long day of work or frustrated by something that happened during the day. To get home quickly, they may speed, drive erratically, ignore traffic laws, or become physically combative when angered by some situation. Sadly, almost 80% of drivers polled admitted that they experience anger, serious aggression, or even road rage at least once a year.

Common Aggressive Driving Behaviors to Watch For

The NHTSA also estimates that 56% of fatal vehicle collisions involve at least one aggressive driver. Some of the most common dangerous actions include:

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 15 miles per hour or more,
  • Unsafe lane changes usually without signaling and weaving in and out of traffic,
  • Illegal passing including passing in a no-passing zone or on the wrong side of the vehicle,
  • Following too closely or tailgating,
  • Obscene gestures, yelling, or threatening another driver or passenger,
  • Ignoring traffic signals such as stop lights, stop signs, and yield warnings,
  • Refusing to allow someone to pass, refusing to yield and allow a passer back into the driving lane, or speeding up to keep them from completing the pass,
  • Passing a vehicle then cutting it off and slamming on the brakes,
  • Reckless driving or assault with a motor vehicle such as forcing a vehicle off the road or trying to hit another vehicle or person, or
  • Purposefully causing a collision.

Most of these acts are criminal violations and the driver can face criminal charges if caught. If someone’s aggressive driving causes a collision and you are injured, criminal charges will not help you pay your medical expenses or recover compensation for your related losses. A car accident attorney at McKinney Vos can explain your civil rights and whether you qualify for compensation from the driver at fault.

If You Encounter an Aggressive Driver You Should Follow These Tips

You can’t control when an aggressive driver is tailgating your vehicle, cutting you off in traffic, trying to run you off the road, threatening physical harm, or taunting you in a combative way. You can control how you react to that driver. Your goal should be to de-escalate the situation and safely arrive at your destination.

If an aggressive driver tries to bait you and make you angry, try to remove yourself from the situation. Back off from that vehicle, give them plenty of space, and don’t engage the driver. Avoid making eye contact with the driver and don’t respond aggressively.

If you are not involved in an accident, report the aggressive driving to the authorities. In Texas, you can dial 311 for non-emergencies. Describe the make and model of the vehicle, where the incident occurred, and the direction the other driver was heading. You may save someone else from being involved in a crash down the road. If you are threatened you can also dial 911 to report the incident. Then drive to a safe, public place such as a police station or hospital.

What to do if You Were Hit by an Aggressive Driver

If you are involved in a vehicle crash, always seek medical treatment for any injuries first. At the scene, if you are able, gather as much information as possible. Take photographs, ask for contact information from any witnesses, and get insurance details from everyone involved.

At your first opportunity, contact a dedicated personal injury attorney to help gather evidence and begin building a case on your behalf. At McKinney Vos, we have extensive experience representing Texas victims who are injured by aggressive drivers. We offer free consultations and usually accept cases on a contingency basis. This means you pay no attorney’s fees unless we recover money for your losses.

What Compensation is Possible in Aggressive Driving Accidents?

Depending on your circumstances, you may have the right to bring a lawsuit against the responsible driver. Physical evidence disappears quickly after car accidents. We can help preserve the evidence needed to pursue compensation. We can also deal with the insurance companies that will try to pressure you into accepting a quick, lowball settlement before you can fully understand the extent of your injuries.

The McKinney Vos team knows the law, how to deal with insurance adjusters, and how to create a strong case that will help you recover a fair settlement. Under Texas law, you may be eligible for monetary damages including:

  • Medical bills, both current and future,
  • Lost wages, both current and future, and loss of earning potential,
  • Property damages if your vehicle or other personal property was damaged in the crash,
  • Pain and suffering along with other mental and emotional distress,
  • Disfigurement and physical limitations that affect your daily life, and
  • Other unique losses related to your crash.

If you lost a family member or loved one due to an aggressive driver’s actions, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim as well.

Trust the Compassionate Accident and Injury Lawyers at McKinney Vos to Protect Your Rights

We understand what it’s like to have your world turned upside-down by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions. When an aggressive driver is tailgating your vehicle or cutting you off and you are injured as a result, we will hold them responsible. After an aggressive driver changes your life, turn to the tenacious McKinney Vos team to fight for you.

Call (512) 714-9467 or fill out our simple contact form to schedule your free consultation today!