It is estimated that about 200,000 vehicles are on the Capital Beltway in Maryland every day. Unfortunately, congestion can lead to aggressive behavior by some drivers. Those who drive the Beltway on a regular basis have likely had at least one bad experience with an aggressive driver.
Aggressive driving is defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a combination of illegal driving behaviors that cause danger to others on the road. It typically includes some combination of speeding, running red lights and stop signs, unsafe lane changes and tailgating. Aggressive driving is not the same as road rage, which the NHTSA defines as an incident in which one motorist actually assaults another.
To combat aggressive driving on the Beltway, the Maryland State Police have deployed a special vehicle called the Aggressive Driving Video and Non Contact Enforcement Vehicle. The ADVANCE vehicle is equipped with sophisticated laser speed recorders, video cameras and other technology that can identify aggressive driving behaviors including speeding, erratic lane changing and following too closely. When a vehicle is identified, a violation report is prepared and mailed to the vehicle's owner, along with photos of their vehicle taken from the ADVANCE vehicle. A media campaign, including highway signs warning of the presence of the ADVANCE vehicle, helps deter aggressive drivers.
Aggressive driving is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injury and death in motor vehicle accidents. Victims and their families may be able to hold an aggressive driver accountable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.