Many Washington drivers learn the rules of the road in a drivers’ education class, and over time, personal habits take the place of adherence to traffic laws. As driving becomes as automatic as breathing, you may forget some of the finer points of the law. We often represent clients facing misdemeanor traffic violations. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the term “aggressive driving” can encompass various dangerous on-the-road behaviors. 

Aggressive driving indicators

Road rage and aggressive driving are often used interchangeably but in fact, consist of very different behavior. A single incident typically incites road rage. Aggressive driving involves one or more traffic offenses, endangering the occupants of nearby vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. If you have one or more of the following driving habits, you may be an aggressive driver: 

  • Racing through yellow lights 
  • Tailgating 
  • Passing illegally on the left 
  • Running stop lights 
  • Merging in and out of traffic frequently 
  • Speeding excessively 

Aggressive driving penalties

These behaviors have significant consequences if something unexpected occurs. Minor traffic violations can become misdemeanors if bodily harm or property damage occurs due to your driving habits. The unique circumstances of your situation could result in charges such as aggravated assault by a vehicle. This is a 3rd-degree felony, which comes with potential life-altering ramifications. 

A moving violation in Yakima can result in fines, assessment fees, license suspension or revocation, depending on the circumstances. The Department of Licensing places you on probation if you get four moving violations in 12 months or five in 24 months. Any additional traffic violations during that time can increase the severity of the consequences. Taking a proactive stance on traffic offenses that can result in criminal charges can help you avoid losing your driving privileges