When you get injured in an accident and the insurance companies are doing their best to deny your financial recovery, one of the tactics they will typically use is to try to get you to admit that you were driving dangerously or aggressively at the time of the accident. This is one of the reasons why it is important to let an attorney deal with the insurance companies on your behalf – and it is as good a reason as any to make sure you have a clear understanding of the differences between defensive and aggressive driving.
Why Does it Matter?
When seeking compensation for a car accident, the success of your claim hinges on being able to prove that someone else is to blame for your injuries. In legal terms, this is known as “negligence,” and one of the most-common forms of driver negligence is aggressive driving. If another driver was to blame in the accident but you were driving aggressively as well, under law the insurance companies can use this to reduce the amount of your compensation award.
As a result, not only is it important to be able to demonstrate that the other driver was being unsafe, but it is important to be able to dispute the insurance company’s allegations that you chose not to drive defensively as well.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
1. Speed of Travel
With regard to speed of travel, driving defensively generally means obeying the posted speed limit. If you are on the highway and other vehicles are traveling above the speed limit, a good way to drive defensively is to stay in the right-hand lane. In heavy rains or other hazardous driving conditions, driving defensively could mean driving below the posted speed limit.
Speeding is among the most-common forms of aggressive driving. Driving above the posted speed limit can be extremely dangerous – both for the aggressive driver and for other motorists on the road. Speeding drivers often engage in other aggressive driving behaviors as well, including weaving in and out of traffic.
2. Following Distance
In Florida, most of are taught the “two-second rule.” This rule says that we should leave at least a two-second buffer between our car and the car in front of you. This is a good defensive driving practice, as it both avoids agitating other drivers and leaves plenty of room to brake or pull onto the shoulder in the event of a sudden stop in traffic.
Following too closely is another common form of aggressive driving. Many people think that tailgating the car in front of them will get the driver to “get out of their way,” and some inexplicably choose to tailgate as a means of intentionally agitating the driver in front of them. Tailgating leaves very little margin for error, and it is consistently a factor in rear-end collisions.
Injured in an Accident? Call Now for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in an accident, it is very important that you avoid speaking with the insurance companies directly. At Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, we will deal with the insurance companies for you, and we will help you understand everything you need to do in order to Demand More® for your injury-related losses. To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation, call me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally at 561.202.MORE(6673) now.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.