Driving aggressively puts people in danger. When the aggressive driver is behind the wheel of a commercial truck, the danger becomes unimaginable. Unfortunately, truck accidents involving these enormous vehicles happen every day. Too often, these collisions are caused by aggressive driving.
What Factors are Behind a Trucker’s Aggressive Driving?
Sometimes, aggressive driving is perpetrated by people with anger issues. Other times, drivers are responding to time constraints and pressure brought on by traffic delays that have threatened to affect the time that they will reach their destinations. Unrealistic expectations by their employers could contribute to their behaviors as well.
What are Some of the Behaviors That are Exhibited by Aggressive Drivers?
Aggressive drivers generally display more care about getting where they are going than they do about getting there safely. The behaviors they exhibit undermine the safety of everyone else on the road. Such aggressive driving behaviors include the following:
Failing to Adhere to Traffic Laws
An aggressive driver may conveniently disregard traffic rules, acting as if they do not apply to them. Other drivers depend on adherence to traffic laws to anticipate the behaviors of others on the road. If the driver of a huge truck disregards traffic norms, it puts people in danger.
The number one offense against road safety is driving too fast. Speeding can deprive a driver’s ability to control a vehicle. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the harder it is to stop in an emergency. This is doubly true for a huge, heavy truck. Driving over the speed limit is an obvious infraction, but even driving within the legal range can be dangerous if driving conditions are less than ideal. A driver should take into account the driving environment, including visual impairments from fog or elements that affect the surface of the road, like recent rainstorms.
When a truck or other vehicle drives too closely to the vehicle in front of them, they are tailgating. The maneuver is often used to show impatience with the speed of the driver who is blocking the irritated driver’s way.
Unsafe Passing or Excessive Lane Changes
A trucker in a rush may endanger other vehicles on the road by passing unexpectedly on the wrong side or weaving through cars to move faster. One extremely unsafe practice is passing on the shoulder of the road.
Failing to Yield
An aggressive driver may disregard certain right-of-way rules to advance themselves by forcing their way into highway traffic at on-ramps or through intersections without waiting their turn or giving deference to other drivers.
Bullying Other Drivers
A humungous truck can be intimidating for other drivers. If a truck driver uses this context to their advantage, they might cut off another vehicle, force a car out of their lane, or keep another driver from merging onto the roadway.
Is Aggressive Driving Different from Road Rage?
While there is some overlap, generally, road rage is a step beyond typical aggressive driving. Aggressive driving behaviors are usually used in an effort to help the driver make good time or to move quickly through surrounding traffic. The focus is usually selfish and intimidating, but it does not necessarily involve a violent intent toward a specific person.
Road rage may begin as aggressive driving, but the situation may escalate when things become personal. A road rage incident may involve the types of reckless driving listed above, but it also tends to be focused on threatening a specific individual that has performed some sort of infraction that has angered the other driver.
Road rage often entails yelling or obscene gestures directed at another driver. An unhinged driver may honk their horn or flash their lights to show anger about an exchange with another driver. Sometimes, the incident intensifies into a physical confrontation.
What Should I Do if I am on the Road with an Aggressive Truck Driver?
A driver’s best defense against an aggressive truck driver is to keep distance. Obey the rules of the road for everyone’s safety.
One way to avoid problems with an aggressive trucker is to stay out of their way. Drive in the right lane, using the left lane for passing only. Use a safe following distance and be courteous to other drivers.
If one is being followed too closely or is a target of an aggressive driver, one should try to ignore the aggressive driver’s actions. It is better to be safe than to attempt to win a dispute with another driver.
Keep a safe distance from trucks when possible. Even if a driver is unaware of any aggressive driving tendencies, a truck driver may change lanes impulsively without noticing that a driver is there. This often happens when cars drive along the right sides of trucks where blind spots are factors.
Can I Report an Aggressive Truck Driver?
If a driver witnesses an aggressive truck driver on the road, they should attempt to notify local police. A commercial truck typically displays a phone number so that a driver can alert the trucking company about unsafe driving behaviors.
Who Can be Held Liable for an Accident Caused by a Trucker’s Aggressive Driving?
A trucker can be held liable for irresponsible driving if it led to the accident, but the trucking company can also be held liable for a trucker’s aggressive driving. In order to hold the company liable for an aggressive driving accident, it must be proven that the company was negligent in some way. Perhaps they hired the driver without properly checking the trucker’s driving history for prior aggressive driving issues.
Why is it Important to Speak to a Lawyer?
Obtaining a lawyer after a truck accident is crucial. Truck accident cases can be complex, and a lawyer will determine who is responsible. A lawyer will also help the victim obtain fair compensation.
New Castle Truck Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Get Results for Injured Truck Accident Survivors
If an aggressive truck driver caused the accident that led to your injuries, you may be able to collect compensation for the accident. Our New Castle truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow help accident victims collect damages to cover medical treatments for injuries, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at (302) 427-9500. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.