The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which directs the federal government’s highway safety and consumer programs, says aggressive driving has become a serious problem in Washington State and throughout the country. NHTSA defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Specific aggressive driving acts can range from speeding to tailgating, to running a stop sign, to passing improperly and much more.
The Yakima aggressive driving accident lawyers at the Mariano Morales Law Firm understand the devastating impact a crash caused by aggressive driving behavior can have on the victims and surviving family members. We are here to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve from the driver at fault for causing the accident.
If you have been the victim of a car accident related to any form of aggressive driving, contact the Washington State aggressive driving accident lawyers at the Mariano Morales Law Firm for a free initial consultation. Call us now toll free at (509) 972-0493 or fill out our online contact form. We represent injured people in Yakima, the Tri-Cities (Richland, Pasco and Kennewick), Wenatchee, Grant County and Chelan County.
Remember that we do not charge you anything until we obtain a settlement or verdict in your favor. Our firm also helps clients deal with property damage to their cars at no cost to them. We are the only law firm in the Yakima Valley that provides this free service.
Aggressive Driving Accidents in Washington State
NHTSA said in a study that a “traffic safety phenomenon known as aggressive driving … threatens to be a major public safety concern for the motoring public and law enforcement into the 21st Century.” And, indeed, this has come to pass.
The Washington State Patrol (WSP) dedicates a page on its website to aggressive driving and road rage, saying, “The preventable individual driving behaviors and decisions made by aggressive drivers can lead to loss of life and life-threatening injuries to our friends, family, and children.”
NHTSA defines aggressive driving as “when individuals commit a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” In some states, legislation defines aggressive driving as “the operation of a motor vehicle involving three or more moving violations as part of a single continuous sequence of driving acts, which is likely to endanger any person or property.”
Road rage differs from aggressive driving, NHTSA explains. Road rage is a criminal offense and is “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”
Behaviors the NHTSA says are typically associated with aggressive driving include:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit (speeding)
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Erratic or unsafe lane changes
- Improperly signaling lane changes
- Failure to obey traffic control devices (stoplights, stop signs, yield signs, traffic signals, railroad grade cross signals, etc.).
The Washington State Department of Transportation’s 2011 Washington State Collision Data Summary reports data submitted by police officers after collisions in which an injury or death occurred or in which there was $700 or more worth of property damage. The report shows that there were 98,820 reported collisions in Washington in 2011. These wrecks caused 454 fatalities, 32,664 personal injuries and 65,735 property-damage-only collisions.
The top three contributing circumstances in all car collisions in Washington State in 2011 were:
- Did not grant right of way to vehicle, 19,479 accidents
- Exceeding reasonable safe speed, 19,128 car accidents
- Followed too closely, 16,819 motor vehicle collisions.
In addition, according to the 2011 Washington State Collision Data Summary:
- 3,425 motor vehicle collisions were attributed to disregarding a stoplight
- 2,018 car crashes were caused by running a stop sign or flashing red light
- 1,770 car wrecks were caused by exceeding the posted speed limit
- 1,120 auto accidents were caused by improper passing.
The state’s report demonstrates that aggressive driving is, in fact, a threat to drivers on Washington State roads. Driving aggressively is an act that a driver engages in — it is not an accident. An injury or death caused by acts of aggressive driving cannot be excused.
Call Our Yakima Aggressive Driving Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been involved in a Washington State accident that you believe was caused by an aggressive driver, contact the Yakima aggressive driving accident attorneys at the Mariano Morales Law Firm for a free initial consultation. Call us now toll free at (509) 972-0493 or complete our online contact form.