Auto accidents happen for a variety of reasons, including road conditions, drivers who are drunk or distracted, and bad weather. But aggressive driving in good conditions by a sober, focused driver can be equally dangerous. You know the type — those following too closely, weaving in and out of traffic, slamming on the brakes. Two studies by GasBuddy — one from 2018, the second released in 2019 — rank Florida among the top ten states with the most aggressive drivers. The 2019 study, which looked at cities, places Orlando in the number seven slot, with Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Tampa-St. Petersburg in the 17th and 19th slots, respectively. In the 2018 study, which focused on states, Florida was also listed among the top ten states for aggressive drivers. The study was based on data from the GasBuddy app, which provides drivers with an assessment of their driving habits and alerts about when and where a poor driving habit occurred.
The studies examined several criteria to evaluate aggressive driving, including slamming on the breaks, speeding and rapid acceleration. In the speeding category, Orlando ranked second and Tampa 11th, with Orlando drivers involved in nearly 57 percent more speeding incidents than the average U.S. driver. Unfortunately, speeding is a top factor in fatal accidents, according to a study conducted by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The AAA study found that aggressive driving played a role in 56 percent of fatal crashes between 2003 and 2007, with excessive speeding being the top contributing factor.
Both studies are good reminders that venting frustration in bumper-to-bumper traffic by driving aggressively isn’t worth the risk. It can hurt others on the road and result in significant jail time and fines (in Florida, up to 90 days and $550). Even if you are never in an accident, all that stopping and starting wastes gas, which makes your annoying commute more expensive. The studies also suggest that drivers should be especially careful during peak congestion hours, because most aggressive driving happens on Friday nights.
Unsurprisingly, large cities with congested roadways tend to rank high on the list of states with the most aggressive drivers. You can probably relate if you’ve ever been frustrated driving during rush hour in the Tampa-St. Pete area or have seen a number of accidents on the side of the road during your commute. If you have been involved in an accident personally and were injured, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. With an attorney’s help, you may be able to obtain more from your insurance company or have a valid liability claim against a third party or the other driver.
Frank Charles Miranda, P.A. represents clients injured in car accidents, including those caused by aggressive drivers. Please call our Tampa office at 813-254-2637 or contact us online to learn more about your legal options for recovering compensation.