Aggressive drivers always have been on U.S. roads. Understand that they are dangerous and that their behavior can lead to a life-changing injury for you as a motor vehicle driver and your passengers.
Just how dangerous are aggressive drivers? According to research, aggressive drivers kill two to four times more people than drunk drivers. And, the American Automobile Association determined that aggressive driving played a factor in 56% of America’s fatal crashes.
Speeders and tailgaters
Whether it is traffic congestion, having a bad day or just plain irritability, a number of reasons exist for people subscribing to aggressive driving.
However, the culprits usually are younger drivers, most often white men under 30 driving a high-performance vehicle such as a sports car or a high-profile vehicle such as a pickup. Researchers also indicated that women seem more aggressive than men when behind the wheel of an SUV or luxury car.
Here are some of the behaviors of an aggressive driver:
- Speeding: According to the National Highway Safety Administration, speeding contributed to the deaths of nearly 11,300 drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists on U.S roads in 2020. Please provide speeding drivers a lot of space as their actions may lead them to them losing control of their vehicles.
- Tailgating: Not only is this an annoyance, but it also is dangerous. If another driver follows you too closely, change lanes or pull to the side of the road to allow this driver to pass.
- Weaving in traffic and cutting off other drivers: These actions usually are meant to harass and intimidate.
Flashing headlights, blocking you from changing lanes along with shouting and making obscene gestures represent other actions of aggressive drivers who may view driving as a competition.
Stay calm and drive to safe location
When faced with an aggressive driver scenario, there are certain things to do. The main one is to not engage with him or her. Avoid eye contact, making gestures or shouting in return. Also, do not offend an aggressive driver by tapping your brakes or slowing down if that person tailgates. Stay calm, and, if you have to, drive to a safe location and call 911.