Aggressive driving is a serious and sometimes deadly problem throughout South Carolina, and North Myrtle Beach is no exception.
If you were injured in a North Myrtle Beach aggressive driving accident, you know just how painful and potentially deadly these wrecks can be. With help from an aggressive driving accident lawyer in North Myrtle Beach, you can hold the aggressive driver accountable and seek compensation for your losses in a personal injury claim.
Why You Need a Lawyer After an Aggressive Driving Accident in North Myrtle Beach
A North Myrtle Beach aggressive driving accident lawyer can help you by:
- Reviewing your case and explaining your legal options in a free initial consultation
- Calculating the potential value of your case by assessing the full extent of your losses
- Conducting an independent investigation into the accident to uncover crucial evidence and determine who was really at fault
- Communicating with other parties on your behalf
- Managing critical legal documents and deadlines on your behalf
- Negotiating forcefully to maximize your compensation
- Representing you in court, if necessary, to pursue fair compensation
What Is Considered Aggressive Driving?
The term “aggressive driving” refers to a wide range of dangerous driving behaviors. Aggressive driving occurs when motorists purposely put other road users at risk by engaging in one or more of the following practices:
- Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions
- Accelerating to race through an intersection when the light turns yellow
- Ignoring pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and other at-risk road users
- Weaving between lanes rapidly and failing to signal when changing lanes
- Making illegal or unsafe passing maneuvers to get ahead
- Refusing to obey traffic safety laws, signs, signals, or officers
- Merging into traffic when there is not enough space between cars
- Nosing into a new lane where there is not a big enough gap in the traffic
- Tailgating and failing to adjust the following distance in poor road conditions
- Refusing to observe warning signs or instructions on other vehicles
- Intentionally following other road users to intimidate or harass them
- Maneuvering to block other drivers from passing or changing lanes
- Driving after other motorists to honk, gesture, yell, or flash lights at them
- Purposely “brake checking” or slowing down to get other drivers to react
- Attempting to run other motorists off of the road
- Engaging in illegal road racing with other drivers
Aggressive Driving Penalties in North Myrtle Beach
Some states have specific laws against aggressive driving, but South Carolina isn’t one of them. However, a similar offense known as “reckless driving” is against the law.
Under § 56-5-2920 of the South Carolina legal code, a reckless driving offense occurs when a person drives a vehicle with an apparently “willful or wanton” disregard for the safety or property of others. In this case, “willful” means something done on purpose, and “wanton” refers to unnecessarily dangerous or malicious actions.
If a driver is convicted on charges of reckless driving in North Myrtle Beach, they can face penalties which may include:
- A fine of at least $25, up to a maximum of $200
- Up to 30 days of jail time
- License suspension of up to three months for second-time or subsequent offenses that occur within five years
If a reckless driving accident victim dies from accident-related injuries within three years of the crash, the penalties for a reckless driving conviction are even harsher. Under § 56-5-2910, this offense is known as “reckless vehicular homicide,” which is a felony crime punishable by the following penalties:
- A fine of at least $1,000, up to a maximum of $5,000
- Up to 10 years of jail time
- License revocation for up to five years
Aggressive Driving Accident and Injury Statistics
- Nearly 9 in 10 respondents to one AAA survey agreed that aggressive drivers presented a “somewhat” or “very serious” threat to personal safety.
- Nearly 8 in 10 drivers who responded to another survey admitted expressing “significant anger, aggression, or road rage” while driving within the past 30 days.
- Another AAA study suggested aggressive behaviors such as tailgating and illegal passing maneuvers may be involved in up to 56 percent of all fatal accidents.
- Experts believe excessive speed is the top contributing factor in fatal accidents involving aggressive driving behaviors, accounting for as many as 26 percent of traffic fatalities.
Drivers who responded to the AAA Foundation’s Annual Traffic Safety Culture Index survey also admitted to engaging in the following aggressive driving behaviors within the previous month:
- 26 percent changed lanes rapidly or very close behind other vehicles
- 32 percent honked or made offensive gestures at other motorists
- 48 percent drove more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit while traveling on a freeway
- 31 percent ran a red light
- 22 percent passed other vehicles with less than a car’s length of space between the two
- 25 percent accelerated when other motorists attempted to pass
- 34 percent followed closely behind other motorists to prevent another vehicle from merging in front of them
- 28 percent continued to merge into traffic even as other motorists attempted to close the openings between vehicles
Contact a North Myrtle Beach Aggressive Driving Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been injured in a North Myrtle Beach aggressive driving accident, you can rely on the experienced attorneys at Jebaily Law Firm. Our team has a strong history of securing real results for deserving clients just like you.
To discuss the details of your case with an aggressive driving accident lawyer, contact us today to get started with your free initial case review.