What Counts as Aggressive Driving?

There is absolutely no question that auto accidents can result in serious physical damage, not only to the vehicles involved, but also to those inside the vehicles, as well as pedestrians or cyclists who happen to be close to the site. While virtually all car accidents have the potential to be destructive, accidents that are the result of aggressive driving can be particularly devastating due to the excessive speeds and violent motions that are usually involved.

What you may wonder, though, is what exactly is aggressive driving? Are there any aggressive driving laws in the state of Arizona? Also, perhaps most importantly for those who are a victim of this type of accident, are the people who are labeled as aggressive drivers liable for any damages that are caused by their behavior while on the road? What types of damages are able to be recovered? Learn the answers to these questions here.

Aggressive Driving in Arizona: Definitions and Laws

In most cases, you are going to know if you have encountered an aggressive driver while on the road. But, do you know how aggressive driving is really defined according to the law?

The bad news is, there are many states that still don’t have any type of aggressive driving legislation in place. However, Arizona is one of the few states that does have a law. According to law, a driver is considered to be driving aggressively when they create any type of immediate hazard to another vehicle or person and the following:

  • The individual has violated the law by speeding or speeding excessively while also doing a minimum of two of the following things:
    • Ignoring road signs, traffic control devices, and traffic lights.
    • Passing or overtaking another vehicle on the right side by going off the pavement.
    • Making any type of unsafe lane change, including not signaling.
    • Following a vehicle too closely – tailgating.
    • Not yielding to the right-of-way.

With the definitions above in mind, it is crucial to understand that excessive speeding actually has several meanings based on the setting in which the speeding took place. According to Arizona law, excessive speeding is defined as being:

  • Any speed over 35 miles per hour when you are approaching a school or school crossing.
  • Going more than 20 miles per hour over the posted limit in business districts or residential areas. This will increase to 45 miles per hour if no speed limit is posted.
  • A speed of more than 85 miles per hour in any other location.

How Does Aggressive Driving Affect Car Accident Liability?

Aggressive driving is considered a type of unacceptable behavior that poses a serious risk to the well-being and safety of any and all other pedestrians and motorists who are sharing the road. The state of Arizona has even criminalized aggressive driving, and it is now considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and the punishment is up to six months in jail, as well as a fine of up to $2,500. It’s important to note that the Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious of all of them and if you are convicted of aggressive driving, you also have to attend and complete traffic school sessions. According to the law, your driving privileges can also be suspended for up to 30 days.

Drivers are typically liable for any injury they cause if they did not act as a careful person would in the same situation. Some damages that are recoverable include property damage, lost wages, medical bills, loss of the enjoyment of life, pain and suffering and more. If the accident occurred and the other driver knew their actions caused the risk of harm to someone else, then punitive damages may be recovered. This is something that you need to discuss with your attorney to see if this is possible.

If you are the victim of an aggressive driver, we urge you to contact Hastings & Hastings today. Our experienced team of attorneys will review your case and protect your rights, getting you the just compensation you deserve.