In 2016, a report published by AAA found that nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant aggression, anger or road rage while driving at least once in a year. The report also found that approximately 8 million drivers engaged in driving that demonstrated extreme road rage, such as getting out of the car to confront another driver or purposely tailgaiting. Aggressive driving can put you and your passengers at risk of an accident, yet it seems to be on the rise in the United States.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
Deliberately tailgaiting, speeding or cutting off vehicles are examples of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is unsafe and hostile without any regard for others who are on the road. Aggressive driving not only leads to accidents, it can also lead to road rage. This occurs when you use your vehicle to deliberately harm someone else. You may be guilty of aggressive driving if you hit the gas when a light turns yellow rather than slowing down or you ride the bumper of a vehicle moving slowly and pass even if it is risky. If you cut off last-minute mergers to “teach them a lesson” or blast the horn if a car in front of you does not move the second the light changes from red to green, you may be an aggressive driver.
How Common is Aggressive Driving?
According to the AAA report, aggressive driving is extremely common. Of those who responded to the study, 51 percent admitted they had purposefully tailgated while 47 percent admitted yelling at another driver. As many as 45 percent have honked to show they are annoyed or angry and 33 percent say they have used angry gestures. Over the past year, 24 percent said they tried to block another driver who was changing lanes, 12 percent purposely cut off a vehicle and 4 percent got out of their vehicle so that they could confront another driver. What was most alarming was that 3 percent of those who responded admitted to bumping or ramming another driver on purpose.
Reducing Aggressive Driving
There are ways to reduce incidents of aggressive driving. If some of the examples sound like you, the first step is recognizing that you have a problem. Always allow extra time to get to where you are going as many aggressive driving incidents are because drivers are running late. If you are already stressed or angry, don’t get behind the wheel. If you can avoid peak traffic times, this can help reduce aggressive driving as well. There are apps you can download that will allow you to avoid traffic or you can tune to your local traffic channel. Turn on soothing music or listen to a relaxing audiobook while you are driving. If another driver is aggressive or is not driving properly in some way, don’t take it personal. Simply get around them when it is safe.
If you have been involved in an accident as the result of aggressive driving or for any other reason, contact us today by phone or by filling out the easy form online to schedule a no obligation appointment.