Aggressive drivers create substantial risk on U.S. roadways. However, it might be surprising to know that the problem doesn’t lie with just a handful of easily frustrated people. In fact, 80% of drivers polled expressed significant anger or aggression behind the wheel at least once in the prior year, according to a study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Identifying aggressive behaviors and the reasons they surface can help drivers fight those feelings and keep roads safe.
Defining Aggressive Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) worked together with government agencies and law enforcement to define aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” The most common aggressive and passive-aggressive driving behaviors include:
- Frequent, unsafe lane changing
- Excessive honking
- Inappropriate gesturing
- Erratic breaking
- Intentionally driving slowly in the fast lane
- Failing to signal or yield
- Tailgating, or following too closely
- Failing to follow traffic signs
Why Drive Aggressively?
While it’s normal to experience anger of frustration behind the wheel, especially in heavy traffic, it’s important drivers do not let negative emotions turn into actions. While there is no excuse for making aggressive decisions on the road, the following is a list of common catalysts behind aggressive behaviors:
- Stress. Heavy traffic, running late to an engagement, or encountering inexperienced drivers can create extra stress and breed unfortunate and dangerous choices.
- Denying consequences. Psychologists discuss instances in which some drivers either don’t see or choose not to see the consequences of their dangerous driving behaviors, such as erratic lane changes or even getting out of the car to confront another driver.
- Perceptions. Some aggressive drivers may perceive actions by other motorists as intentional, or feel the need to right a wrong by teaching the other driver a lesson, psychologists say—when in reality, important parts of driving are avoiding aggressive behaviors and having patience with others.
Trusted Legal Help Is a Phone Call Away
A lawyer can answer your questions and help you build a case if you’ve been injured in an accident with an aggressive driver. The legal team at Tavss Fletcher consistently fights for fair compensation for our clients in their car accident cases, and we can do the same for you. Give us a call today to get started: 877-960-3441.