Aggressive drivers are the cause of many avoidable accidents every year throughout the United States, and South Carolina is no exception. Unfortunately, crashes that occur as a result of aggressive drivers sometimes result in very serious injuries to innocent people; or even worse, in death.
What is Aggressive Driving?
We have all witnessed aggressive driving before. Most commonly, we see it when a speeding car tailgates a slower-moving car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as a mixture of moving traffic violations that endanger people or their property.
What Behind the Wheel Behaviors Qualify as Aggressive Driving?
Many behaviors behind the wheel are classified as aggressive driving, including weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating another vehicle, unsafe lane changes, speeding, driving too fast for the road or weather conditions, passing in an unsafe manner, failing to yield the right of way, and threatening other drivers, with gestures or verbally. Speeding can also be a form of aggressive driving, and the South Carolina Highway Patrol reports that when it comes to deaths from car accidents, speeding is second only to drunk driving.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), “aggressive operation of a motor vehicle” was to blame for or contributed to 600 injuries and 20 fatalities in 2009. Following another car too close was attributed to 2,972 injuries and two deaths in 2009, while improper lane change was attributed to 1,221 injuries and 15 deaths.
South Carolina Law Regarding Aggressive Driving
South Carolina has no laws on the books specifically outlawing or penalizing aggressive driving. To date, only 15 states in the United States have some form of aggressive driving laws on the books. Considering that the average annual cost of deaths alone related to car crashes in South Carolina is $1.01 billion, which is comprised of $8 million in medical costs and $997 million in lost productivity (dead people do not work), the state could likely benefit from additional laws passed that provide more incentive not to drive aggressively.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is trying to address aggressive driving, and encourages drivers to call *HP or *47 if they suspect somebody of drunk driving, see somebody who is speeding, or see somebody who is driving in an otherwise aggressive fashion. Although there may not be laws in South Carolina specifically targeted at aggressive driving, the underlying behaviors (speeding, tailgating, weaving, etc.) are already criminalized, and if citizens call in the behaviors when witnessed, the police will pursue the perpetrators and enforce existing laws.
David Aylor Law Offices Can Help You
You need an experienced car accident attorney if you have been injured in a car accident caused in whole or in part by aggressive driving. You can call or email the David Aylor Law Offices today for a free, no obligation consultation.