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Aggressive Driving, Road Rage Have Similar Causes but are Different Offenses

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This video features a WPTV-TV report about a campaign by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to crack down on aggressive driving. While this story revolves around one phase of the campaign that occurred from February 27 through February 29, an FHP press release stated officers also planned crackdowns from March 30 through April 4 and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported aggressive drivers would again be targeted on May 9 and 10.

It is important to note that aggressive driving is often used synonymously with “road rage,” but the two terms are actually different. Aggressive driving signifies the moving violations a driver takes behind the wheel that endangers other motorists, but road rage is a criminal offense that is usually the result of a traffic incident escalating into a deliberately violent action, such as a physical assault with a weapon or with the vehicle.

While aggressive driving is not an enforceable offense in Florida, an issuing officer can select “Aggressive Driving” checkbox on tickets for data collection purposes if a driver’s actions involve at least two of the following offenses: speeding, unsafe or improper lane change, following too closely, failure to yield right of way, improper passing and failure to obey traffic control devices. Individually, any one of those offenses is dangerous, but in combination, they can significantly increase the odds of auto accidents.

Obviously, there is no benefit to partaking in either aggressive driving or road rage. Both practices are often forms of attempted retaliation for being cut off, tailgated or stuck behind a slower driver. It is important for all motorists to be calm, cool and collected at all times—even when they are running late or stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. An attempt to “get even” with another driver for a perceived slight increases the chances of a deadlier outcome more than it does an effective resolution. The FHP and officers throughout the nation should continue to crack down on aggressive drivers before such reckless driving could turn into a road rage incident.

Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. – Orlando personal injury lawyers