According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving involves unlawful action on the part of a driver who is speeding, passing improperly or improperly changing lanes. Since aggressive driving can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents, the person doing the aggressive driving might be held liable for any damages or injuries that occur in such accidents.

The NHTSA specifically defines aggressive driving as driving beyond a safe speed limit for current road conditions or exceeding the speed limit posted on a road, failing to signal that you will be changing lanes, changing lanes too quickly or at inappropriate times, changing lanes often without good reason or using the shoulder or emergency lanes to pass other vehicles. According to the NHTSA, an aggressive driver does not take another human life into proper consideration before making a decision on the road.

Aggressive driving is slightly different than road rage, says the NHTSA. According to the agency, road rage is an assault with a vehicle. For an action to be deemed road rage, a willful disregard for other’s safety. Road rage may relate to a criminal offense while aggressive driving is a traffic offense.

Regardless of whether a driver commits an offense that is chargeable or simply warrants a traffic ticket, if someone else is injured because of the driver’s actions, he or she may be financially liable. Individuals who are injured in an aggressive driving incident have a right to seek compensation for injuries and damages, including medical expenses, property damages, loss of wages and pain and suffering. Understanding how and when to seek such compensation can help improve the success of your claim.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Aggressive Driving Fact-Tip Sheet with Talking Points,” accessed July 10, 2015