Aggressive Driving Accident Lawyer
Every driver in South Carolina has a duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws, but not everyone abides by those rules. Instead, many motorists drive aggressively, putting themselves and others at risk. Aggressive driving is a common cause of accidents in South Carolina and can lead to serious injury and death.
The definition of aggressive driving is broad because it can come in many forms. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “a combination of moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property.”
Put simply, an aggressive driver intentionally disregards the safety of others on the road. According to the NHTSA, some of the biggest contributing factors to aggressive driving include:
- Disregard for others
- Disregard for the law
- Running late
- Traffic delays
Here are some of the most common forms of aggressive driving in South Carolina:
- Failing to signal
- Failure to yield or stop at signs
- Making improper lane changes
- Running red lights
- Weaving in and out of traffic
The aggressive driving actions listed above can often lead to road rage, defined by the NHTSA as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle or precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”
Here are some common examples of road rage in South Carolina:
- “Brake checking” to punish other drivers
- Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes
- Cutting off other drivers
- Excessive honking
- Flashing high beams at other drivers
- Yelling or inappropriately gesturing
Aggressive driving and road rage are both very common in South Carolina and across the rest of the United States. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80% of drivers surveyed nationwide expressed “significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel” in the year prior to being surveyed. The most common occurrence was purposefully tailgating (51%), followed by yelling at another driver (47%) and honking to show annoyance or anger (45%).
The study also found that male and younger drivers aged 19-39 were significantly more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors. In fact, male drivers were over three times more likely than female drivers to have rammed another vehicle on purpose or gotten out of a vehicle to confront another driver. In addition, drivers who reported other unsafe behaviors behind the wheel – such as running red lights or speeding – were more likely to show aggression towards other drivers.
Road rage and aggressive driving can lead to serious injury and death in the Palmetto State. In one South Carolina road rage incident in 2019, a motorcyclist gave the middle finger gesture to a driver on U.S. Highway 21 near Rock Hill. The driver then retaliated by swerving in front of the biker and slamming on his brakes. As a result, the motorcyclist hit the man’s truck, and his body was thrown against a guard rail. He died from his injuries, and the driver was sentenced to six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
In some instances, road rage can spill out of the vehicle and lead to assault – sometimes with a deadly weapon. In fact, there were 728 road rage shootings in the United States in 2021, and 522 people were killed or injured in those shootings.
Dealing with another driver’s road rage:
Road rage is a scary thing that can lead to even scarier consequences. While it might be tempting to “stand up for yourself” when someone else is behaving aggressively on the road, doing so will not do you any favors. It might actually cause you to become seriously injured or lose your life, so don’t risk it!
Instead of retaliating, here’s what you should do if you’re the victim of road rage:
- Let the other driver pass – Angry drivers are usually in a hurry, so let them pass. The farther away they are, the safer you are.
- Don’t make eye contact – Don’t engage with the driver in any way. If they’re trying to get your attention, they’re doing so in order to provoke you. Don’t take the bait.
- Contact authorities – If it’s safe to do so, call the police to let them know about the aggressive driver. Doing so could potentially stop an accident or violent incident from occurring. Use as many descriptors as you can, including their license plate number, their appearance, and the make and model of their car.
- Don’t let them follow you home – If the angry driver is following you, don’t drive home or anywhere else you frequent. Instead, go to a busy public place. Keep the windows up and the car doors locked while you call the police.
Contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates today
Aggressive driving and road rage can, unfortunately, lead to catastrophic consequences in South Carolina. In an ideal world, no one would get hurt due to an aggressive driver’s blatant disregard for the safety of others, but sadly that’s not the reality. Those who are injured due to other people’s behavior on the road deserve to be compensated for the financial, physical, and emotional hardships they are forced to endure.
When a person is injured in an aggressive driving or road rage accident in South Carolina, the consequences can span far beyond the scene of the accident. Car accident victims are often faced with mounting medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and more. Many are left with life-long injuries and uncertainty about what their future holds.
Those who are injured in South Carolina car accidents should never feel as though they’re drowning in a sea of medical bills for a wreck they didn’t cause. However, recovering compensation following an auto accident can be an uphill battle. That’s why many people choose to hire a South Carolina personal injury attorney to do all the legwork for them.
The personal injury lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates have been representing South Carolina car accident victims for more than 40 years. We know how to fight for our clients in order to maximize their chances of receiving fair compensation. We also know how to go head-to-head with the other side’s insurance company, fiercely negotiating on behalf of our clients and refusing to accept low-ball settlement offers.
Our car accident clients often receive compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income
- Lost or diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates also represents the families of those who have been killed due to the actions of aggressive drivers. In these wrongful death cases, we work hard to get families fair compensation, which can include:
- End-of-life, medical, and funeral costs
- Lost financial contributions of a loved one
- Pain and suffering
- Lost prospect of inheritance
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of support services
- Loss of guardianship and parental guidance
McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates has seven offices across the Midlands of South Carolina, in Aiken, Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Sumter.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or lost a loved one due to another person’s reckless actions on the road, we will give you a free case evaluation and advise you on your next steps.
Give our South Carolina car accident lawyers a call today at 888-353-5513. It won’t cost you anything to see if we can help.®