Aggressive Driving is a Leading Cause of Car Accidents

A study by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that aggressive driving is a growing problem and that 9 in 10 drivers feel that people driving aggressively pose a threat to their personal safety.  This concern is justified, a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic safety found that over half of fatal car accidents involved at least one driver who performed a potentially aggressive action.

What is Aggressive Driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as, “The operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.”  Aggressive driving includes:

  • Speeding.
  • Tailgaiting.
  • Weaving in and out of traffic.
  • Running red lights.
  • Failing to obey stop signs, yield signs and other traffic signals.
  • Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes.
  • Cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down.
  • Changing lanes without signaling.
  • Ignoring signals from other drivers.
  • Failing to yield the right of way.

Preventing Aggressive Driving

The AAA Exchange offers the following tips to help prevent aggressive driving:

  • Maintain adequate following distance.
  • Use turn signals.
  • Allow others to merge.
  • Use your high beams responsibly.
  • Don’t force another driver to use their brakes or turn their steering wheel in response to something you have done.
  • If you must use your horn, just tap it.

Responding to Aggressive Driving

Tips for responding to an aggressive driver and road rage:

    • Swallow your pride and attempt to get out of their way. Don’t try to prove a point.
    • Stay Calm. Do not respond to the other driver. Avoid any escalation of conflict.
    • Avoid eye contact with the aggressive driver or occupants.
    • Avoid making hand gestures, honking your horn, or flashing your lights.
    • Be sure to allow enough room so that you can pull out or around if someone approaches your vehicle.
    • Do not get out of your vehicle – it can help protect you.
    • Drive to a busy public place where there are witnesses, such as a hospital or fire station. Once there, use your horn to attract others’ attention if needed.
    • If necessary, contact 911 for assistance.