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While driving in New York, you might find yourself in a situation that calls for pulling over to the shoulder of the road. It might seem safe to do. However, it is one of the places on the road that is most fraught with danger.

For this reason, this step should only be taken in emergency situations when there are no other options. Statistics can clearly show the dangers of pulling off of the road, even in emergencies. The shoulder of the road is the place where more than 1,500 people get injured or killed annually.

Due to the dangers of this maneuver, determining liability can be complicated. It might be possible that a driver, while trying to pull over onto the shoulder, does not pull over far enough and obstructs the nearest lane.

This can dramatically increase the chance of an accident. Since oncoming cars can easily confuse vehicles on the shoulder as vehicles in a different lane, the probability of accidents can definitely increase. Often, this results in a crash.

Read more: What You Should Know About Shoulder of The Road Accidents in New York

U-turns are never so simple and safe as they appear. You would need to slow down your vehicle and turn across multiple opposing traffic lanes, which can leave you vulnerable to crashes. For this reason, U-turns remain prohibited in several places including the business districts of New York. Drivers should only attempt U-turns after being sure that they are legally permitted to do so and they are yielding to any oncoming traffic.

If a driver has caused you or a loved one an injury because of negligence during a legal or illegal U-turn, you might be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries and other damages.

What Makes U-Turns Dangerous?

Read more: How to Reduce Your U-Turn Accident Risk And Determine Liability?

Unsafe lane changes can be incredibly risky – for the motorist who is moving into the lane as well as for the motorists that are already occupying the lane. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that unsafe lane changes are responsible for more than 530,000 accidents – accounting for approximately 10% of all roadway accidents – every year.

When a motorist suddenly decides to move into a lane, the risk of a collision is very high, as they might momentarily lose control of their vehicle and collide with another vehicle which is already occupying the lane. In some cases, the motorist who is already occupying the lane might notice the oncoming vehicle and try to take evasive maneuvers, which in turn might cause them to lose control of their vehicle and collide with another vehicle or a stationary object.

Unsafe Lane Change Accidents – A Look at the Most Common Contributing Factors

Read more: Lane Change Accidents Can Cause Serious Personal Injuries

In New York, road accidents and collisions are often a direct result of road rage. Driving while distracted can definitely result in accidents. However, according to statistical data from the America Safety Council (ACS), 66% of traffic deaths come about from aggressive driving.

At its core, road rage involves drivers resorting to a number of moving traffic offenses that can put the safety of property or other people in jeopardy. Road rage can also involve assault using a vehicle or a weapon, whether perpetrated by the driver of the vehicle or a passenger.

Who Resorts to Aggressive Driving Most Often?

While anyone can be guilty of aggressive driving, ACS data suggest that men below 19 years of age are the most likely to display such behavior and cause road accidents.

At the rudimentary stages, road rage can manifest as less dangerous behavior like rude hand gestures or frequent honking. However, it does not take much time to escalate to far more dangerous driving habits like tailgating. According to the ACS, about half of the people who are on the wrong side of aggressive driving behavior can respond with more aggressive moves of their own.

ACS estimates indicate that about 12,610 injuries and 218 deaths resulted due to aggressive driving during a seven-year period. A number of aggressive drivers even admit to such behavior. In fact, 2% of all surveyed drivers admit attempting to run aggressive vehicles off the road, turning into aggressive drivers themselves in the process.

Aggressive driving behavior can be found everywhere, and New York is no exception. The danger from these drivers can easily become more pronounced as they are more likely to commit other offenses, including speeding, driving without a seatbelt on, and driving under the influence. In fact, you might have already noticed a driver in New York display some of the following behavior:

  • Tailgating
  • Reckless lane changing
  • Speeding and accelerating without warning
  • Frequent honking of the horn
  • Braking without warning
  • Unnecessary flashing of lights
  • Using rude hand gestures
  • Making loud threats or cursing
  • Brandishing a weapon
  • Running red lights or ignoring stop signs
  • Not respecting right of way rules
  • Passing or making U-turns illegally
  • Driving on the wrong lane
  • Driving on the median or shoulder
  • Trying to cause an accident or crash intentionally

Moreover, road rage and aggressive driving incidents can often result in a confrontation between the parties. This can easily escalate to physical violence and sometimes, even murder. In such cases, the defendant can be hit with both civil and criminal proceedings.

While there can be no excuse for aggressive driver behavior, it is often congestion and heavy traffic that can spur the onset of road rage. With congestion and traffic increasing steadily, especially in New York, incidents of road rage are likely to become more and more frequent.

According to findings from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while the phenomenon of aggressive driving has existed since the creation of vehicles, it has also been a rare occasion for many decades, to the comfort of drivers. However, that is not the case any longer. Since the 1990s, aggressive driving has become somewhat of a trend and, with passage of time, has only become more frequent.

The NHTSA indicates that, around 2005, the phenomenon of fairly occasional “rude” on-road behavior grew and developed into a number of national news reports about aggressive driving. Aggressive driving has been called a national issue and according to the NHTSA, some drivers in New York display behavior that can be termed “occasionally bizarre”.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that most drivers believe aggressive driving to be a direct threat to their safety and the safety of their loved ones. Surveys indicate that about 75% of motorists find it extremely important that measures be brought into place to curb unsafe driving.

Who Stands to Get Hurt by Aggressive Driving in New York?

Aggressive driving can be extremely damaging for pedestrians and people on bicycles. A study encompassing 10,000 incidents of road rage found that a staggering 33,521 pedestrians and 4,782 bicyclists were killed by vehicles. Another study found a 51% increase in serious incidents of road rage between the years 1990 and 1996.

The impact of aggressive driver behavior can be felt even more in cities where the surging popularity of bicycles and scooters increase their presence in the streets. Large-scale changes to the demographics of cities have also contributed to road rage, according to the NHTSA.

In just the second half of the last century, the population of the United States has seen an increase of a 100 million. While traffic safety in general has seen improvements with a steady decrease in fatalities, since the 1950s, risks like aggressive driving have only increased.

The NHTSA lists a number of factors that contribute to the phenomenon of aggressive driving. Some important ones include:

  • A growing sense of impatience has developed among urban drivers.
  • Difficulties in coping with the rigors and hardships of life can contribute to aggression on the road. Stresses emerging from routine tasks like getting to work on time, picking up children from school, the fear of embarrassment or admonishment, and running late for important errands can all contribute.
  • In large cities like New York, the sheer scale of life has brought about a decline in the sense of community and harmony, which contributes to aggressive driving.
  • Sociologists have also attributed a loss of shared social values to aggressive behavior on the road.

While for most people aggressive driving happens only on rare occasions, it is also a regular habit for some. For some people, mental health issues can also lead to aggressive driving.

What You Can Do when You See an Aggressive Driver?

Prioritize Road Safety

You need to exercise caution while driving in New York. Any competent NYC accident attorney would attest that this is a challenging environment for driving.

  • If you encounter aggressive driver behavior, lock your car doors immediately. If you need to stop your car, make sure that there is adequate room at both ends of your car should you need to drive away quickly. On being confronted, dial 911 immediately.
  • As far as you can, avoid conflict and maintain cordial behavior. Doing this can help you avoid situations where you might need a New York accident attorney.
  • Report aggressive drivers to the proper authorities by calling the appropriate helpline with details like license plate number, vehicle description, driver description, location, and direction of travel.

Maintain Courteous Behavior

While this can be taxing when faced with aggressive drivers, it is wise to keep a cool head. This can help you remain on the right side of the law and avoid situations that require the involvement of a New York accident attorney.

In addition, you can do the following to minimize risk:

  • Avoid eye contact with aggressive drivers.
  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Avoid making rude gestures.
  • Avoid excessive horn use.
  • Avoid blocking the passing lane.

Burden of Proof with Accidents Involving Aggressive Drivers

If you have sustained injuries due to an accident caused by an aggressive driver, you would need to prove their liability in the matter in order to be able to claim compensation. Under the law, a number of aggressive driving behaviors are considered negligence.

In New York, it can be difficult to prove a case of aggressive driving as law enforcement officers do not issue tickets unless they specifically see such behavior. Therefore, you need to rely more on traffic camera footage and eyewitness accounts. Reports from others in the vicinity can be used as evidence in such matters.

If you have sustained an injury in an accident resulting from aggressive driving, the competent accident lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff, LLP can assist you in your attempt to obtain just compensation.

What are the Important Consequences of Aggressive Driving Accidents?

People on the wrong end of aggressive driving accidents often have to deal with serious injuries. Debt can mount up quickly through the burden of exorbitant medical bills. The future income of victims can also come under jeopardy as they are rendered unproductive during the recovery period.

However, with the help of reconstruction specialists, police reports, and witness testimony, liability can be established and compensation sought. Compensation from the responsible parties can provide you some much-needed financial relief during this trying time. The types of damages you can seek to recover through a personal injury lawsuit can include:

  • Reimbursement of medical expenses
  • Compensation for pain, suffering, and mental trauma
  • Compensation for loss of income

Furthermore, you can also recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit if someone you care about has died in such an incident.

It is important to remember that there are relevant statutes of limitation regarding filing personal injury or wrongful death suits. You would need to file your claim within the stipulated time period.

Schedule a Consultation with Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

The experienced attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have important experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving aggressive driving and road rage. With our dedicated assistance, you will have a valuable ally in your quest for justice.

While each case needs to be dealt with according to its merits, our expert attorneys can provide you important help through this trying time. If you have fallen victim to an aggressive driving accident, it is important to immediately seek legal action with the help of skilled and experienced professionals who can provide every legal help and bolster your effort to get just compensation.

Reckless driving is described under Section 1212 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law as a driver operating any vehicle in a manner that interferes with the public usage and safety of roadways and highways. Reckless driving is banned in New York and can be charged with multiple moving traffic violations, such as vehicular manslaughter, endangerment, and speeding. It can also be charged with a misdemeanor.

Reckless drivers are often said to have a personality that does not shy away from risk taking. They display a blatant disregard for the life and safety of fellow passengers and others on the road. Reckless driving often results in personal injury and even wrongful death. Such drivers can make you overcompensate by forcing you off the road and into a crash. They may act aggressively which may cause a traffic accident.

Reckless drivers are serious offenders and a huge threat to the life and safety of pedestrians and other drivers. You deserve compensation if you have met with an accident due to someone else’s reckless driving.

Severity of Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is an extreme traffic violation and a major driving offense in New York State and the rest of the nation. It goes by various names – driving without due care, careless driving and improper driving. Reckless driving is worse than negligent driving since it involves a severe disregard for rules, including ignoring other automobiles on the road and disobeying traffic devices.

Conviction for these offences is not justified by an error of judgment alone as with negligence. For instance, a motorist making an improper turn without realizing is very different from a driver jumping a red traffic signal into oncoming traffic intentionally.

Reckless driving involves an intentional disregard or indifference to the consequences of careless actions. Courts have ruled that actions of a reckless motorist may constitute gross or culpable negligence.

Traffic Accidents Due to Speeding in NY

1 out of every 3 fatal crashes, as per the National Safety Council, is due to speeding above the posted speed limit. Speeding is also the third leading cause of all accidents. Anyone can be injured by a motorist if they are racing, excessively speeding, or driving faster than what prevailing weather conditions permit. Safety regulations and speed limits are there to protect construction workers, drivers, school zones, and neighborhood residents.

Therefore, it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible if you were in an accident because the driver was speeding. Traffic crash or collision can easily result in lost wages, long-lasting injuries, costly vehicular repairs, and emotional trauma. You have a right to compensation for your losses and injuries if you were in an accident because someone else was speeding.

Injuries Caused by Reckless or Careless Driving

New York drivers are constantly under a lot of stress and at the end of their patience from congested roadways and other issues. This easily leads to cutting corners and reckless driving. However, careless drivers often place themselves and others at risk of serious life-threatening injuries with their driving.

Victims can suffer multiple injuries depending on the severity of accident. Few of these are:

  • Loss of vision
  • Head and traumatic brain injuries
  • Limb loss or amputation
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Death

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at the hands of a reckless driver, you may have the right to file a lawsuit that will allow you to recover monetary damages.

Reckless Driving Compensation

Reckless motorists can cause life-altering injuries which can lead to unanticipated and unfair financial burdens. People that are injured by careless drivers on the road have the right to file a lawsuit to claim financial damages. This can be for the injuries they suffered and damage to their automobile among other losses.

It is recommended that you consult with a highly experienced and top rated personal injury attorney in Buffalo, NY if you have recently been the victim of a reckless driving accident. A knowledgeable attorney shall know the unique laws surrounding reckless driving vehicular accidents and help you understand your compensation rights.

They may be able to help you acquire adequate compensation for:

  • Lost wages and future loss of income
  • Medical expenses
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Burial and funeral expenses (if the accident caused a wrongful death)

The amount and kind of compensation awarded depends on individual situations. It is important to note that insurance companies try to pay the least compensation possible. You may end up getting far less than what you rightfully deserve if you face insurance companies alone or settle without the help of an experienced attorney. You need to have a capable reckless driving accident attorney in New York if you were recently in an accident caused by a reckless driver.

Insurance Company Settlements

Insurance companies during settlement talks designate the driver (insured) as a reckless operator. This can help towards fast-tracking your lawsuit or claim. Insurance companies typically try avoiding courtroom scenes that may expose the horrid and reckless behavior of the insured in court because it may lead to excess liability exposure and a high amount judgment.

To prevent this from happening, most insurance companies try settling out of court. This allows for easier negotiations, minimal liability discussions and eventually higher settlements.

Types of Recoverable Damages in Reckless Driving

There are two major types of recoverable damages.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Most injury settlements tend to include a monetary amount to reimburse the victim’s therapy costs, medical bills, lost wages, and all other calculable losses because of the accident. These are called economic damages and are easily provable through bills, employer documentation and receipts.

However, non-economic damages are a whole different story and may present a tough challenge to establish. You need to prove loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and other vague challenges and damages based on psychological and emotional issues as a direct result of the accident.

Punitive or Exemplary Damages

Punitive damages are awarded by courts when it is proved that the defendant acted in a manner which is worthy of punishment. For reckless driving convictions, proving that the motorist indulged in dangerous driving behavior is usually enough.

You may be able to receive punitive damages if you prove that the motorist acted wantonly or willfully in a criminally negligent manner.

What to Do When You Spot Reckless Driving in New York?

You cannot alter the behavior of another driver even if they are driving recklessly. However, you can take steps to protect yourself and keep your passengers safe.

  • Don’t engage with the other driver. You should not succumb to the temptation of blocking their way so that they cannot pass you or make hand gestures that might incite anger. Road rage can cause the other driver to act even more recklessly and dangerously. They may choose to follow you until you stop somewhere and then attack you physically. Instead, allow the reckless driver to pass and continue driving as you normally would.
  • Try getting out of the way if it is possible. You can always pull off the road and wait for the other driver to pass. This will decrease the odds of you getting into an accident or injuring yourself. Try moving your vehicle to a safe location if you believe that the reckless driver is getting enraged. Never get out of the car until help has arrived or the driver has moved on.
  • Call 911 immediately after pulling into a safe location if you believe that the other driver’s reckless behavior is not going to stop anytime soon and may cause an accident. You can also have one of the other passengers make the 911 call. Report the license plate number, make and model of the car along with your current location. The police will take care of the reckless driver.

Were You In a Reckless Driving Accident?

It is possible that you are feeling a bit confused after a reckless driving accident. You may not know whom to trust or where to turn to. At this juncture of your life, it’s critical that you consult with a lawyer who is experienced enough to aggressively represent your case.

When you work with Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP you get skilled attorneys on your team and a law firm that is almost a century old. Above all, you get the best representation you deserve and may acquire the highest compensation. Accidents can be scary, but with the right legal representation you do not have to face the aftermath on your own. 

Consult a NYC Reckless Driving Injury Attorney

When it comes to filing lawsuits for reckless driving, it is imperative that you act quickly and get in touch with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can begin accumulating evidence and filing the lawsuit.

Do you doubt your eligibility to file a reckless driving claim? We offer free case consultations to all our clients. Do not hesitate in aligning yourself with our firm today. Give us a call at (800) 660-2264 to speak to a capable and skilled New York City injury attorney.

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New York, NY 10168

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Queens, NY 11435

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