As the weather gets warmer and warmer this spring, we see more and more drivers emerging from their winter cocoons and taking flight to the streets. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of this rebirth is the growing problem of aggressive driving. We have all experienced the stress of driving at one time or another when we’re on the roads, but it seems like drivers have become more aggressive in their driving habits than ever before! The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that aggressive driving is a serious factor in up to 56% of all fatal car crashes, so it is definitely having a negative affect!
What is classified as aggressive driving, you might ask? Aggressive driving includes such things as speeding, tailgating, improper or erratic lane changes (usually without signaling), running red lights or driving illegally on road shoulders or sidewalks. This is just the short list of “aggressive behaviors”. There is also passing (when it is prohibited by posted signs, highway markings or school bus warning lights) , making improper turns, talking on your cell phone while driving, or honking the horn and using angry or obscene gestures at other drivers. All of these behaviors threaten every single driver on the road.
Our streets would be a lot safer and we would have a much more pleasant driving experience if we would all follow some simple steps to avoid aggressive driving and its consequences.
- Avoid cutting off other drivers and apologize if you do
- Avoid tailgating and honking the horn
- Avoid making offensive or inappropriate gestures
- Steer clear of other aggressive drivers, don’t engage with them
- Avoid eye contact if you are confronted
- Seek help if you are being followed by driving to a safe or crowded location or call 911
As drivers, we each have a responsibility to control our own emotions and behaviors and not allow them to control us. Maybe if we all do our part, by driving according to the law and showing consideration for our fellow drivers, aggressive driving and its consequences could be a “thing of the past.”