Washington State defines aggressive driving as when an individual commits “two or more moving violations” likely to endanger people or property. The definition also includes a “single intentional violation that requires a defensive reaction of another driver.” Essentially, this means that if a driver commits two or more traffic violations that may injure others or commits one act to require another driver to react in a defensive manner, e.g. swerving to avoid.
So what kind of behaviors does Washington State consider aggressive driving?
As stated above, Washington State considers actions that may endanger others aggressive driving. These may include:
- Driving while impaired
- Driving while distracted
- Following too closely
- Disregarding traffic signs
- Passing improperly
- Weaving through traffic
- Accelerating to lights
- Honking or flashing headlights
- Using vulgar language or signals
- Making threatening gestures
- Braking excessively
- Driving to impede another
Any of these indicators alone shows a lack of concern for the safety of the offending driver, his or her passengers, and the rest of the people on the road. In combination, not only are they dangerous, but they can in fact be deadly.
Why does it matter?
Because aggressive driving is a factor in so many accidents, knowing how Washington State defines it will help you in an accident claim. If an aggressive driver caused your accident, you can use his reckless and aggressive driving to show negligence and establish liability.
For example, if you were following all the rules of the road (driving within the speed limit, using your turn signals, paying attention) and a driver cut you off and you rear-ended him, if you saw him behaving erratically, you can use that to prove that he was at fault.
If you can prove the other driver was at fault in your accident, he may have to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
Note: In certain cases, such as if a driver intentionally ran you off the road, you may be able to sue for punitive damages, which a judge awards to “punish” the defendant and deter any further malicious wrongdoing,
If you or someone you care about sustained injuries in an accident caused by an aggressive driver, it is important to take action quickly. Be sure to speak with a Seattle car accident attorney about filing a claim for your injuries. Contact Max Meyers Law PLLC at 425-399-7000.