Leading Killers on the Highway, Part II March 19, 2013, by Herman & Wells, Esq.

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Automobile collisionIn a recent post, I discussed some of the greatest dangers on the highway, but I did not cover them all. As a personal injury attorney, auto accidents and their potentially horrific outcomes are among the most common topics discussed in my office. In an effort to be thorough and with the hopes of reducing your risk of a St. Petersburg auto accident in 2013, I will continue that list here.

Rage. Long before there were public service announcements about texting while driving, Hollywood stars and public officials were taking a stand against expressing anger on the roadways. “Road Rage” was the term coined and it is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Allowing one’s anger to get away from him – whether it be because someone else cut him off, wouldn’t let him off the exit ramp, or nearly ran him off the road – puts the driver at a severe risk of an accident or unpleasant interaction.

Aggressive Driving. An extension of road rage is aggressive driving. Even before one’s temper becomes heated, the need to get somewhere quickly, to show off to passengers, or simply to “rule the road” can cause him to make poor decisions. Aggressive driving is defined as “operating a motor vehicle while deliberately acting with contempt toward other drivers and partaking in reckless, illegal acts to create a dangerous situation.”

This can include tailgating, flashing lights at other drivers out of irritation, physical or verbal assaults on other drivers, ignoring traffic signals, changing lanes in an unsafe manner, or failing to yield the right of way.

Mother Nature. Though humans cause the majority of troubles on the roadside, there are other factors that can lead to accidents in Saint Petersburg and beyond. Failure to acknowledge the power of Mother Nature, for instance, is asking for trouble. Heavy rain, snowfall, freezing temperatures, fog, and even other species can add to the dangers on the road.

Mother Nature can throw drivers unexpected obstacles with little or no warning. For this reason, people must be prepared to make spur of the moment decisions or may even be forced to wait out a storm in a safe location before taking to the roads again. Acting without heed in times of inclement weather very often leads to serious injuries and fatalities.