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Road Rage and Aggressive Driving

The motorcycle gang "Hollywood Stuntz" pulled a stunt this past week that went horribly wrong. The whole encounter between the bikers and an SUV was caught by a camera on one of the bikes, and then uploaded onto YouTube where it went viral within hours. The stunt appeared to be the bikers surrounding a random SUV on a New York highway, and weaving in and out of traffic around it. At one point, a biker gets in front of the SUV and comes to an almost complete stop, causing the driver of the SUV to hit the brakes but not be able to avoid hitting the biker (whose injuries were later determined to be two broken legs). When they see their fellow biker injured, the other 100 or so bikers start to swarm around the SUV, containing the driver, his wife and his 2-year-old child. As the bikers form a threatening pack and begin to close around the SUV, clearly upset about their injured friend--the driver of the SUV panics, floors the gas pedal to get out of what he perceives to be a dangerous situation for himself and his family, and in doing so runs over another biker.

The bikers pursue the SUV all the way into the city. There, the SUV gets stuck in traffic, and the bikers seize their chance for retaliation. Several get off their bikes, remove their helmets and use them to smash the car windows, and eventually pull the driver of the SUV out of the car and begin savagely beating him. Pedestrians intervene until the police finally arrive. Two bikers are in custody, and two are in the hospital--one critically injured. The driver of the SUV was treated and released.

What happened? Road rage on steroids? A biker gang looking for trouble? An SUV driver with a total disregard for motorcyclists? Many of us have felt road rage to a certain degree. Many of us have also probably gotten a bit nervous sharing the road with a bunch of motorcyclists, especially if they are weaving in and out of traffic. How do we avoid getting into an accident and/or a confrontation like the one that happened in New York?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "FMCSA," has a few tips for bikers:

  • Never stay in blind spots, or "no zones."
  • Always wear a helmet and protective clothing.
  • Drive to survive; drive defensively and follow laws of the road; don't weave in and out of lanes or share a lane with a car; do NOT instigate aggressive driving.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your motorcycle.
  • Watch your speed!

There are similar safety tips for drivers sharing the road with bikers:

  • Use a 2-second rule to increase your distance between your car and a biker
  • Respect Mother Nature: bad weather is extra bad for bikers, so be extra careful and give them extra space
  • Look before turning
  • Check blind spots
  • Be nice

Imagine if the last safety tip, not to mention the others, was followed in the New York incident: Be nice. There would have been no road rage, no arrests, and no critical injuries. Aggressive behavior, which translates to aggressive driving, is becoming more frequent, and a disturbing trend in our culture. Aggressive driving isn't just road rage; that is the extreme example of it. Speeding, tailgating, swearing, gesturing, and confrontations with other drivers are all examples of aggressive driving.

If you have been the victim of an accident due to aggressive driving, injured either in a car or on a motorcycle, then you may have a claim for damages. Don't just accept aggressive driving as part of our society; take a stand against it and for your rights. Visit The Thomas Law Firm for a no cost case evaluation.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

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