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Aggressive Driving Claims Lives in Delaware

On behalf of Gary Nitsche

Over the past three years, 139 people have been killed and another 9,657 have been injured on Delaware roads in crashes involving aggressive driving. In fact, 42 percent of all fatal car accidents in Delaware in 2010 were the result of aggressive driving, with one-third of those fatalities caused by a driver's failure to grant the right of way.

Delaware Law Prohibits Aggressive Driving

Under Delaware law, a driver can be charged with an aggressive driving violation if he or she any three of the following traffic offenses in a single incident:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Unsafe lane change
  • Passing on the shoulder
  • Ignoring a traffic control device
  • Following too closely
  • Passing a stopped school bus

The penalties for aggressive driving can include fines and jail time as well as mandatory completion of a behavior modification class or attitudinal driving course. Repeated offenses can result in license suspension.

What to Do if You Encounter an Aggressive Driver

The most important thing you can do to stay safe when you encounter aggressive drivers on the road is to get out of the way as quickly as you can. While you may feel the urge to "fight back" against an aggressive driver by speeding up, slowing down or defending your right-of-way, it is far wiser to swallow your pride and remove yourself from the situation.

When dealing with an aggressive driver, remain calm and drive carefully. Be sure that your seat belt is buckled so that you will be protected in case it is necessary to brake or turn abruptly. Do your best to avoid looking at the other driver and do not give in to the temptation to acknowledge or return his or her aggressive gestures.

As soon as it is safe to do so, call the police and report the aggressive driving. Give them as many details as you can, including the make, model and color of the vehicle as well as its license plate number, location and direction of travel. If you are injured in a car crash with an aggressive driver in Delaware, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

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