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From the Left Lane Articles, Personal Injury




Florida Senator Michael S. ”Mike” Bennett’s Senate Bill, 244 Relating to Motor Vehicles (2012 Session) would set stiff penalties for driver’s failing to move over from the left lane.

The proposed law provides legislative intent relating to road rage and aggressive careless driving. The proposal requires an operator of a motor vehicle to yield the left lane when being overtaken on a multilane highway and revises the number of specified acts necessary to qualify as an aggressive careless driver. If passed the effective date of the new law is October 1, 2012

In essence, the proposed law prohibits a driver from continuing to operate a vehicle in the left lane of a multi-lane highway when the driver knows, or should reasonably know, he or she is being overtaken. The new proposed law adds the failure to yield to overtaking vehicles to the infractions considered acts of aggressive careless driving.

Road Rage and Aggressive Driving:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “aggressive driving” comprises following too closely, driving at excessive speeds, weaving through traffic, running stoplights and signs, and other forms of negligent or inconsiderate driving. Occasionally, aggressive driving transforms into confrontation, physical assault, and even murder. A study on road deaths and injuries shows that road death and injury rates are the result, to a considerable extent, of the expression of aggressive behavior. Those societies with the greatest amount of violence and aggression in their structure will show this by externalizing some of this violence in the form of dangerous and aggressive driving.

“Road Rage” is the label that has emerged to describe the angry and violent behaviors at the extreme of the aggressive driving continuum. A literature review commissioned by the an incident in which an angry or impatient motorist or passenger intentionally injures or kills another motorist, passenger, or pedestrian, or attempts or threatens to injure or kill another motorist, passenger, or pedestrian.

The willful intent to injure other individuals or to cause damage, although directed at a specific target, presents an immediate danger to all in the vicinity of those engaged in acts of road rage. There are numerous accounts in which road rage incidents inadvertently involve drivers or pedestrians not targeted in the incident. Aggressive driving maneuvers, such as tailgating and speeding, can also be seen as the result of the driving environment, and they are also connected with the issue of congestion.

Studies show most incidents happen between the hours of four and six o’clock in the evening, times in which traffic congestion is more than likely a factor or the primary cause of an accident. In addition, there is strong evidence correlating the number of lane change maneuvers to accidents, and speed to accidents. Some researchers have theorized . the root cause of these aggressive behaviors is passive-aggressive driving, i.e., the failure to move to the right from a left lane of a multi-lane highway when being overtaken by faster traffic. The theory contends that because slower moving traffic often refuses to yield to vehicles wishing to pass, those faster moving vehicles resort to aggressive driving such as “bobbing and weaving” from lane to lane. On most roads, drivers are made relatively equal by the prescribed limits of the law regardless of individual differences in capability and status.

The vast majority of cars are fully capable of exceeding 70 mph, yet all cars are directed by law to adhere to the same upper and lower limits. Drivers must adhere to the limitations placed on their speed and movement, prescribed directly (by speed limits, or variations in the number of lanes available) and indirectly (by congestion). For this reason, it is easier for the driver to ascribe frustration at being impeded by an ambiguous source, especially if there is no logical reason for the obstruction (to the impeded driver). This is an example of the possible escalating frustration, which may transform from driving aggressively into an instance of road rage.

Current Florida law in relation to “driving on right side of roadway” requires vehicles moving at a lesser rate of speed to drive in the right hand lane as soon as it is reasonable to proceed into that lane. Exceptions and exemptions include: when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway. Violations of this law are noncriminal offenses. However, enforcement of these provisions has been minimal.

 If you find yourself injured in an accident in Florida – it is best to consult an attorney with substantial experience. There are so many different circumstances that a proper answer to your particular problem can only be obtained by a trained and experienced lawyer. If you have any question regarding this or any other legal matter our firm may be able to help you. Please contact Jupiter Legal Advocates at (561) 748-8000 or email us at for further information and assistance. We try our very best to respond immediately.

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