It’s Monday morning. Your coffee pot broke and your spouse used the last of the toothpaste. You left for work a little later than usual; flustered, un-caffeinated and with a mild case of halitosis. You hit the road, going a bit faster than the friendly speed limit sign would care for. Suddenly someone merges into your lane, cutting you off. You quickly pull into the next lane, honking your horn as you zoom pass the newcomer. He honks bank. Unfriendly hand gestures are exchanged and you’re glad your kids aren’t in the backseat to see. Now the newcomer is tailgating you. One sudden stop in traffic and your back end is done for.
Most of us have been there, or in a similar situation. It’s no secret that the DMV is consistently ranked one of the worst places in the country to drive, with Maryland taking the cake as third worst in the nation. Our drivers are rude, impatient and just a touch aggressive. Collectively, we could all benefit from taking a deep breath before getting behind the wheel; reminding ourselves it’s better to get there late than not get where we’re going at all.
Did you know that in 2018 there were over 4,000 car crashes in Maryland that were a direct result of aggressive driving? Out of these 4,304 aggressive driving accidents, 1,500 of them caused injury to nearly 2,400 people and 32 of them were fatal resulting in 35 deaths overall in 2018. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as a traffic offense occurring when an individual “commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Aggressive driving behaviors include:
- Following too closely, or tailgating;
- Running red lights, stop signs, or any other traffic control devices;
- Improper passing; failing to signal intent, using emergency lanes, or passing on the shoulder; and
- Weaving in and out of lanes, making unsafe lane changes.
Maryland’s Aggressive Driving law (TR§21-901.2) states that at least three of the following violations must be observed to charge a driver with aggressive driving:
- Traffic lights with steady indication;
- Overtaking and passing;
- Passing on right;
- Following too closely;
- Failure to yield right-of-way; or
- Exceeding a maximum speed limit or posted maximum speed limit.
Fines for aggressive driving are $370 and five points on your license.
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident as the result of an aggressive driver, give Ferrante, Dill & Hisle partner Nicholas Ferrante a call today. Mr. Ferrante has decades of experience fighting Personal Injury cases on both sides of the fence- for insurance companies, and the little guys as well. He now takes that insider knowledge and uses it to his clients’ advantage. Your initial consult is free- call us today at (410) 535-6100 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.