Featured News 2018 What Is Aggressive Driving?

What Is Aggressive Driving?

Let's face it – no one ever wants to actually meet an aggressive driver on the road. In a recent study done by AAA, 90% polled believed that aggressive driving was a danger to their personal wellbeing. Yet, while aware of the unpleasantness of the situation, some of us might believe the threat of road rage only extends to the exchanging of angry glances or unfriendly words.

This, however, is not always the case.

In fact, aggressive driving is a far broader, far more dangerous problem than any of us realize.

Road Rage Puts Blood on the Streets

In 2018, The Reporter-Herald reported an alarming case of road rage in Loveland, CO. A man was run over in a Walmart parking lot in what the police called "an act of road rage," requiring a week of hospitalization and months of physical therapy. It's an extreme example, but it's not as rare as you might think—a study found over 200 murders and 12,000 injuries caused by road rage in a 7-year period.

However, road rage is not the only form of aggressive driving.

State safety agencies define aggressive driving behavior as any vehicle operation that is unsafe, hostile, and without regard for the safety of others. The most common behavior? Speeding. In Washington D.C, AAA Traffic Safety reported that 56% of road fatalities involved aggressive driving behaviors. Washington D.C. has been flagged for this very reason as one of the most aggressive commuter cities in the U.S.

Aggressive driving includes:
  • Speeding
  • Making lane changes without signaling
  • Frequent and sudden lane changes
  • Refusing to yield the right-of-way
  • Tailgating
  • Deliberately disregarding traffic signals

That's right—there are cities ranked according to their reputation for road rage and aggressive behaviors. One study revealed that Miami, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. have the worst reputations for the number of aggressive drivers in city limits. Safety advocates have questioned if the causes of aggressive driving are actually attributable to people's impatience or if there are other factors involved.

There are a number of theories regarding how technology affects those who are prone to road rage. USA Today concludes that Texas has a problem with road rage due specifically to the use of cell phones. The data they collected showed that 90 of the 716 car accidents in 2000 considered aggressive driving incidents involved cell phone usage. Some researchers have also found a link between drunk driving and aggressive driving behavior.

While people cannot avoid aggressive drivers forever, there are some tips (courtesy of the California DMV) as to what could help prevent a disastrous encounter on the road.

The DMV recommends the following to avoid especially aggressive drivers:
  • Never look a frustrated driver in the eye.
  • Maintain a safe distance away from aggressive drivers.
  • Do not honk your horn to express anger.
  • Do not suddenly change lanes abruptly in front of another car.
  • Do not reciprocate or antagonize aggressive drivers.

There are no sure ways of avoiding an angry, impatient driver, but keeping a lookout for those who are potential hazards is a good defensive tactic. Also keeping a mental checklist, like the one above could help prevent possible unwanted situations.

If you're injured by an aggressive driver, holding them accountable in court could help you afford medical care, bring closure to trauma, and take one more aggressive driver off the road. Learn more by calling a car accident lawyer today.

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