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Aggressive driving linked to fatal accidents

Texas residents may think of news stories about road rage incidents when the subject of aggressive driving is raised, but motorists can remain calm and collected and still be guilty of driving aggressively according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The federal safety agency considers driving to be aggressive when it violates traffic laws and places other road users in danger, and the government watchdog says that speeding is the most common example of this negligent behavior.

Researchers with the American Automobile Association looked into aggressive driving in 2009, and they determined that it was a factor in 56 percent of the fatal crashes that took place in the United States between 2003 and 2007 when the NHTSA definition of the term was applied. In addition to speeding, the AAA researchers considered behavior like following too closely, passing in a no passing zone and making improper lane changes when compiling their aggressive driving report.

The statistics indicate that excessive speed remains an epidemic problem on the nation's roads, and NHTSA crash data reveals that speeding drivers or motorcyclists caused, or were involved in, 18.8 percent of the fatal accidents that occurred in 2014. While the figures show that drunk driving has declined in recent years, intoxicated motorists were still involved in more than 12 percent of the country's deadly auto accidents in 2014 according to the NHTSA.

Motorists who place the lives of other in danger because they are impatient, frustrated or angry may face severe criminal penalties when their reckless behavior leads to injuries or death, and they could also be forced to contend with lawsuits filed by personal injury attorneys on behalf of car accident victims. Compensation sought in these lawsuits typically include medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.

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