Ventura Aggressive Car Accident Attorney
More than 11,000 people were killed in the U.S. in aggressive driving accidents in 2020. Unfortunately, California has one of the highest rates of aggressive driving cases. This is why the state has strict penalties on drivers caught driving aggressively or recklessly. Suppose you were involved in an accident with an aggressive driver. In that case, you could get reimbursement for your damages by filing a personal injury claim in Ventura with the help of an attorney from the King Law Firm.
Common Forms of Aggressive Driving
- Flashing Headlights: One common form of aggressive driving is flashing the vehicle’s high beams. This can severely reduce road visibility for other drivers and result in an accident.
- Tailgating: Following the vehicle ahead too closely, also known as tailgating, is one form of reckless driving common throughout the U.S. Tailgating minimizes the driver’s chances of avoiding a rear-end collision.
- Overspeeding: Driving above the speed limit increases the chances of an accident. Exceeding the speed limit by 10-15 mph can be considered reckless driving. This aggressive driving act is illegal and can lead to a catastrophic collision.
- Unsafe Overtaking: When a driver does not signal before suddenly moving in front of another vehicle, it constitutes an act of aggressive driving.
- Brake Checking: The unnecessary use of brakes or checking the brakes in the middle of moving traffic can result in a severe aggressive driving accident.
- Disregarding Traffic Rules: The intentional disregard of traffic signals, stop signs, speed limits, and additional traffic rules is another form of aggressive driving.
- Unsafe Lane Changes: A driver who does not signal or give the right of way before changing lanes and weaves in and out of traffic.
- Illegal Passing: A vehicle that passes on the median or shoulder of the road and undertakes other vehicles.
- Threatening or Rude Hand Gestures: Aggressive driving also includes yelling at other motorists or using rude or obscene gestures to threaten them while driving.
The Dangers of Aggressive Driving
Thousands of people suffer injuries every year due to aggressive driving accidents. In recent years, speeding has contributed to around 29% of traffic fatalities, making traffic collisions one of the biggest dangers of aggressive driving behavior. There are multiple hidden costs associated with aggressive driving. For instance, repair costs of frequently worn-out brakes and high fuel consumption due to aggressive braking or sudden acceleration. Another danger is the environmental impact of road rage or aggressive driving. Vehicles that are driven at higher speeds also have higher emission rates.
Laws and Penalties for Aggressive Driving in California
California is one of the states in the U.S. with the highest rate of traffic fatalities related to aggressive driving, which is why aggressive driving is referred to as wanton or willful disregard of the driver for the safety of other road users. Wanton or willful disregard means that the driver knew the risk of their actions and still proceeded to ignore that risk. Aggressive or reckless driving is a criminal offense in California. According to the law, to convict someone of aggressive driving, there should be proof that:
- The vehicle was driven by the defendant on a public highway or a parking lot.
- The defendant drove with intentional disregard for other people’s safety.
Aggressive Driving Penalties According to the California Vehicle Code 23103 VC
- Aggressive Driving: An act of aggressive driving that does not result in injuries is considered a misdemeanor under California law. It can lead to a fine between $145-$1,000 and 90 days of incarceration. The license of the convicted motorist can also be suspended for a month if it is their first conviction. Their license can be suspended for two months after a second conviction.
- Accidents Causing Serious Injuries: An aggressive driver can be charged with a felony if another motorist or road user suffers serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis, disability, or broken bones due to the accident. The felony punishment includes a fine of $10,000 and up to three years of incarceration. The driving privileges of the convicted motorist can also be revoked due to committing the felony offense.
- An Accident that Results in Minor Injuries: The punishment for aggressive driving misdemeanors increases if the accident results in minor injuries. The convicted motorist would have to pay a fine of $200-$1,000 and spend up to 1 year in jail.
- Commercial Reckless Driving: It is still counted as a misdemeanor if aggressive driving is committed by a commercial driver. The punishment for such acts under California law can be a fine of up to $2,500 and around six months of incarceration.
How to Protect Against Aggressive Driving
Here is how you can protect yourself from aggressive drivers:
Slow Down to Give Way
If you spot any aggressive drivers, try your best to stay away from them. For example, if they want to get ahead, you should slow down to let them pass.
Report Acts of Aggressive Driving
If an aggressive driver threatens you, the best response is to report them. If you try to respond aggressively, it could lead to an accident.
If you feel stressed or angry at something, you should avoid driving until you cool down. Driving while you are frustrated could have unpredictable results.
Have a Polite Driving Attitude
Having a polite driving attitude will help you avoid aggressive drivers. Even if the aggressive driver is honking or flashing their headlights, you don’t need to respond in a similar manner. You can simply ignore them or let them pass you.
The Benefits of Hiring an Aggressive Driving Accident Attorney
It can be challenging to handle all the requirements for an aggressive driving accident claim or lawsuit while recovering from your accident injuries. Allow us at the King Law Firm to guide you through each step of the way for your personal injury claim in Ventura.
We are proud to be a Ventura law firm specializing in car accidents involving aggressive driving and other traffic violations. Our Ventura aggressive car accident attorney can help you file a claim and handle all the necessary paperwork. They can also help you gather evidence and negotiate with the insurance company.