Aggressive Driving

It doesn't take long to find examples of aggressive driving on our roadways. Most of us see it every day - the road racer, the distracter, the tailgater, the frequent lane changer, the red light runner. The atmosphere created by aggressive drivers is scary.

Aggressive Driving Is All Around Us

We have all seen aggressive drivers who carelessly

  • Express frustration. Drivers climb into the anonymity of an automobile and take out their frustrations on anybody at any time. Their emotions are high, and the concern for fellow motorists is low.
  • Lack attention to driving. Distractions from driving are a major cause of roadway crashes. Motorists are often seen eating, drinking, primping - yes, even shaving - as they drive. Some drivers make their automobiles a "home away from home," with fax machines and laptop computers.
  • Tailgate. Tailgating creates a serious hazard. It is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious injury.
  • Make frequent, unnecessary lane changes. Drivers who whip in and out of lanes merely to advance one car length ahead are a danger to other motorists.
  • Rubberneck. slowing down to look at an incident is a natural human reaction. But this behavior slows traffic, causes congestion, and may lead to another car crash.
  • Run red lights. Disregarding traffic controls is a leading cause of urban crashes.
  • Speed. Going faster than the posted speed limit, being a "road racer," going to fast for conditions, and weaving in and out of traffic are some examples of speeding.

Help Get the Word Out to Others. Discuss aggressive driving with members of your family, friends, individuals, and community groups. This is how you can help.

  • Give everyone an opportunity to take the test. We all need to look at ourselves to see if we are contributors to the atmosphere. Ask about driving habits everyone is performing well and others that need to be improved.
  • Realize that traffic crashes are caused by the way we drive. Motor vehicle crashes are not inevitable, they are avoidable.
  • Reduce your stress when you drive. Allow plenty of time for the trip, listen to soothing music, improve the comfort in your vehicle, and understand that you cannot control the traffic, only your reaction to it. In the end, we may very well discover that personal frustration, anger, and impatience may be the most dangerous "drugs" on the highway.
  • Assume other drivers' mistakes are not personal. Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver is not. Avoid conflicts if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath, and move out of the way. Never underestimate the other driver's capacity for mayhem.
  • Report aggressive drivers. Some states have a cellular telephone number that motorists can use to report dangerous driving to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If you a cellular telephone in your vehicle, operating a vehicle in a threatening manner, you or a passenger should make the call in a safe manner. Make sure you give a vehicle description, license number, the location, and direction of travel. You could prevent a tragedy.
  • Be a courteous driver yourself. Everyone has the power to set an example, and this will help make our roadways safer. Use that power.