While there is no specific aggressive driving charge in New Mexico, most incidents of road rage would likely be charged as reckless driving. New Mexico’s motor vehicle legal statutes define reckless driving as: “driving a vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others and without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.”
When angry drivers target their aggression toward other drivers, they are engaging in reckless driving. They also cause crashes and endanger lives. If you were injured by an aggressive driver, an Albuquerque car accident lawyer can help you hold them responsible for the losses you have suffered.
Aggressive Driving Is on the Rise
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and other recent divisive political events, people are frustrated, angry, and impatient. Unfortunately, they seem to be taking out their aggression on the roads across the Land of Enchantment.
2021 saw at least five road rage homicides in Albuquerque alone. In March of 2022, a woman was arrested in Albuquerque for pulling a gun on another driver because of his bumper sticker promoting the Covid-10 vaccine. As these kinds of incidents increase, it’s important to understand what you can do if you are a victim of an aggressive driver.
Road Rage Is Not the Only Form of Aggressive Driving
Like reckless driving, aggressive driving can take many forms. People often think of road rage when they think of aggressive driving. Road rage is behavior that is aimed at another driver and could include yelling, honking, making threats, brandishing a weapon, and dangerous driving. But any incident involving an emotional driver could be considered aggressive driving, including the following dangerous driving actions and maneuvers:
- Intentionally driving too slowly
- Improper lane positioning
- Evasive lane changes
- Drag racing
- Exhibition driving
- Failure to signal
- Failure to yield right of way
- Disregarding traffic controls
- Impaired driving
- Aggressive horn use
- Blocking traffic
In the end, it doesn’t matter what the other driver did or why they did it. If their actions caused a crash and you were injured, you should call a personal injury attorney to help you hold them responsible for your injuries.
Injuries Caused by Aggressive Drivers
If an aggressive driver caused a rear-end, head-on, rollover, or side-swipe crash with your car, you could be seriously injured. Common injuries suffered in high-impact crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injury. A direct impact to the skull or an impact that forces the head rapidly back and forth can cause a serious brain injury that could affect the victim’s ability to communicate, walk, care for themselves, or earn a living.
- Spinal cord injury. If the spinal cord is damaged in a collision, the victim’s motor skills could be impacted, and their lives could be forever changed.
- Broken bones. Broken bones take time to heal and could prevent the victim from earning a living. When a bone is broken in a violent collision, it is often shattered and requires surgical repair and a long recovery.
- Soft-tissue injuries. Even a minor accident could cause a soft-tissue injury such as whiplash or a damaged joint. These injuries can cause chronic pain and make it difficult to complete ordinary tasks.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. Some accident victims experience PTSD after a catastrophic car accident, especially if they felt targeted and attacked in a road rage incident. PTSD can require ongoing therapy to allow the victim to function on a day-to-day basis.
You were the unfortunate victim of an aggressive driver, and your life was forever changed that day. However, an experienced New Mexico car accident attorney can help you begin to recover what you lost by fighting for the compensation you deserve from the at-fault driver and their insurance company.