There is probably not a day that goes by when you see someone taking unnecessary driving risks. If you are like most individuals, this can make you quite uncomfortable—maybe even angry at times. Without a doubt, aggressive driving is a serious and growing problem. It is rude, often illegal, and always dangerous. Speeding, tailgating, frequent and sudden lane changes, failure to yield right-of-way and disregarding traffic signals—these aggressive behaviors are contributing factors in more than 50 percent of all collisions.
Here we address what triggers aggressive driving and its results along with a few common sense techniques designed to keep yourself and the situation under control. Aggressive driving is identified by distinct behaviors that offend and potentially endanger other drivers and include the following:
- Excessive speeding
- Cutting off other drivers
- Offensive gestures to other motorists
- Excessive lane changing
- Lane blocking
Have you ever involved yourself in any of these risky activities? Most aggressive driving behaviors are the result of stress and impatience. If you have ever put yourself in this situation, consider the serious adverse consequences that may result. Is it really worth the risk? The key to avoiding aggressive driving is simply: Be a safe and responsible driver. When you drive, you and only you are responsible for what you do. You have a responsibility not only to yourself and others in your vehicle, but to everyone else on the road. Being a responsible driver is an obligation—not a choice.
DrivActiv eLearning™ Libraries include a full-length lesson about Avoiding Aggressive Driving, includes Knowledge Checks and an Exam. Learn More.
If you manage your emotions and your schedule before you get behind the wheel, you will be a much safer driver throughout your trip. A few suggestions:
- If you are already upset, do not get behind the wheel. Get your emotions under control before you turn the key.
- Do not drive when you are too tired, this can make you irritable and impatient.
- Plan your route, plan your time. Be sure you have plenty of time to get to your destination.
- Call ahead if you are running late. Do not try to make up the time when you are on the road.
Of course, you can never control, nor should you try to control, the actions of other drivers. Your job is to stay alert and avoid problems created by aggressive drivers. Make sure to always keep an adequate safety zone around your vehicle so there is sufficient time and space to react when confronted with hazardous situations. Remember that if you encounter someone who is acting irresponsibly, showing little concern for their own safety and that of others, the only thing you control is the way that you react