Why Aggressive Driving Is Dangerous

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A national survey found that over 60 percent of motorists believe that aggressive driving is a threat to both themselves and their passengers. Each year there are thousands of deaths related to road rage on America’s interstates and other road ways. The best way to avoid being a victim is to stay alert and don’t engage.

If you are hit by someone experiencing road rage, a Boca Raton car wreck lawyer can help you seek compensation.

What Is Aggressive Driving?

Aggressive driving is a term coined in the early 1990s, and it refers to motorists who display dangerous behavior in their driving habits. It includes people who follow too closely (tailgaters), people who exceed the posted speed limit by excessive amounts, weaving or darting through heavy traffic, rolling through stop signs, running red lights, and purposely blocking the path of other drivers by braking or swerving in front of them.

Why Aggressive Driving Is Dangerous

Aggressive driving provides an environment for catastrophic mistakes.  Many of the reasons for why aggressive driving is dangerous relate to margin of error and driver mistakes.

Speeding: When drivers exceed the speed limit, they have less time to act when there is a need to stop their vehicle to prevent an accident. This window shrinks even further when weather and other unpredictable elements are in play.

Following Too Closely: This is another scenario where the margin of error is reduced for the motorist. These types of behaviors result in rear-end collisions or more serious accidents if the collision occurs at high speed or in a dense traffic area.  

Weaving Through Traffic: This type of behavior can cause indirect or collateral damage to other motorists. When a person weaves through traffic and makes a mistake, other motorists who are involved in an accident because of the aggressive driver have a huge potential for hitting the motorists next to them. In other words, crashes from weaving can cause a ripple effect across multi-lane freeways.

Running Stop Signs and Traffic Signals: People who try to beat the light or get through a stop sign quickly usually aren’t paying attention to other elements at an intersection. Pedestrians or stopped motorists can be impacted when one driver doesn’t obey posted signals. Lights are often timed, and if that timing gets thrown off because it isn’t followed, accidents can happen.  

What Can Be Done to Prevent Aggressive Driving?

Despite public education and law enforcement campaigns, aggressive driving is still a problem.  For those motorists who are not engaged in aggressive behavior, here are some tips to protect yourself.

Avoid Engagement: If an aggressive driver is following you, riding next to you, or otherwise trying to engage you in an altercation, ignore him or her.  Back off and let the driver pass or avoid going the same direction.  No “win” on the road is worth your life, and situations can get heated quickly.  

Allow the Aggressive Driver the Right-of-Way: It may seem counterintuitive to give people breaking the law what they want, but this is the best course of action for everyone involved. For example, if someone is following you too closely, pull over at the next available opportunity and let the aggressive driver pass.

The best way to avoid aggressive drivers is to keep your cool and pay attention. Do not assume that another driver will do the right thing and always avoid confrontation.