Whether we like to admit it or not, many of us have been in a situation where we have driven aggressively. The reasons are endless: you’re running late for a meeting, someone cut you off, etc. Although aggressive driving might seem insignificant at times, it isn’t. So, what are the dangers of being an aggressive driver? Let’s find out:
What Is An Aggressive Driver?
An aggressive driver is a driver who deliberately commits several traffic offenses that may endanger other people or property. Aggressive driving behavior may include a combination of the following offenses:
- Ignoring road signs
- Running red lights
- Cutting in front of other drivers
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Attempting to pass or change lanes aggressively and blocking cars
- Passing in zones where it is prohibited
In addition, aggressive drivers may attempt to intimidate other drivers by verbally or even physically attacking them. Aggressive driving is considered to be a serious traffic offense, and road rage is too. Drivers who experience road rage have the potential to commit a criminal crime by putting themselves or others in danger.
What Are The Dangers of Aggressive Driving?
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety claims that “nearly 80% of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the previous 30 days.” Some of this road rage behavior includes an aggressive driver tailgating, cutting in front of another driver, or flashing bright headlights at other drivers. Sadly, the annual increase in car incidents is caused by individuals with a dangerous driving attitude. Here are some other examples of aggressive driving and their dangers:
- Traffic Collisions: Car accidents happen every day and can happen at any moment. Although the severity of an accident varies, studies show that one of the most common reasons for accidents is speeding. This study indicated that the risk of a car accident increases when vehicles travel much faster or slower than average.
- Fines and Penalties: An aggressive driver will receive a ticket for aggressive driving, pay costly fines, or even lose demerit points on their driver’s license. Most severe penalties include a suspended license, enrollment in a strict behavior modification class, and even jail time.
- Fatality and Damage of Property: Not only could an aggressive driver receive penalties, but injuries, fatalities, and dame of property are on the line. The NHTSA shows statistics that thousands of people are killed every year in the U.S., and millions are badly injured due to car accidents. Even if fatality or injury is not involved, property damage can be very costly.
How To Avoid Aggressive Drivers
It’s essential to remain calm and in control of the wheel while driving around aggressive drivers to avoid an unpleasant encounter. Here are some tips on how to avoid aggressive drivers on the road:
- Stay calm and avoid making eye contact with angry drivers.
- Avoid gestures or aggression, and do not respond with aggression.
- If you feel you are at risk or in danger, drive to a public place such as a police station, hospital, or fire station.
- If you are confronted, stay as calm and courteous as possible.
- If you feel you are in danger, call 911.
How To Avoid Being an Aggressive Driver
Anyone can be an aggressive driver at times, and this is why it’s essential to recognize the factors that may affect your driving. If you feel your emotions taking over your driving, use the following tips to avoid aggressive driving:
- Practice patience and do not act on negative emotions.
- Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination.
- Follow the speed limits attentively.
- Stop at red lights and stop signs.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones, and concentrate on driving.
- Share the road respectfully with other drivers.
- Do not allow other driver’s behaviors to affect your mood.
- Maintain adequate following distance.
Because we care…
Stillman & Friedland Attorneys