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Aggressive Driving

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These are behaviors that can provoke aggression by other drivers.

Excessive speed - "Many drivers believe that traffic laws are guidelines, especially speed limits."
Even 5 miles over the posted speed is an unsafe or excessive speed under certain driving conditions. The posted speed limit is the safest maximum speed.
Legal descriptions of excessive speed:

Greater than the posted speed limit.
Over maximum operating speed of the vehicle: for example, towing something, using an undersized spare tire.
Driving too fast for existing conditions

Speeding has been cited as a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes.

Frequent or unsafe lane changes - Before turning, check your right blind spot or anything or anyone: pedestrians, joggers, in-line skaters. In addition, when parking on a street prior to opening the door of your vehicle or driving out of the parking space, check your left side blind spot for pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists.

Safe turing tips for left turns:

Signal the turn.
Move into the appropriate turn lane.
If we need to wait for oncoming traffic to pass, keep wheels pointed straight. This practice prevents a head-on collision in the event we are rear-ended while waiting to turn.
Yield to oncoming traffic.
Turn into the correct lane.

If you cannot see the approaching traffic or are unsure of their speed, don't take chances; wait.

Right turns

Signal the turn
Keep your vehicle close to the curb.
Turn into the correct lane.

Pay attention to your lane position. The driver behind may be turning with you in your blind spot. If you switch lanes after the turn, you may sideswipe them. Before changing lanes after a turn, always check your blind spot.

Failure to signal - Importance of using directional signals as a courtesy to other drivers as well as a defensive driver action. Not using directional signals is one of the driver actions that provoke aggressive driving behavior.

Tailgating - "Tailgating is another unsafe driver behavior that provokes aggressive driving behavior and a common ca sue of collisions.

The minimum safe following distance is 3 seconds. Defensive driving includes maintaining a safe space around your vehicle. This means using a safe following distance. Hazardous conditions and speed influence following distance.

For every hazardous condition, we need to add one second of following distance.
For speeds in excess of 65 miles per hour, we need to add a minimum of one additional second for the hazard of higher speeds, which includes increased stopping distance.

Higher the speed, the higher the risk of being involved in a crash because of the increase in distance required to stop the vehicle.

Some examples of driver right-of-way errors.

Vehicles running red lights
Vehicles tuning into the wrong lane or turning too wide.
Gridlock (vehicles blocking intersection)
Pedestrians crossing against the light or with the light when making a right turn.
Bicycles, motorcycles in the blind zones.
Going around railroad crossing gates.
Failing to yield.

Traffic laws never give anyone the right-of-way. Laws only provide who shall yield the right-of-way.

Impaired driving - Alcohol/Drugs even small amounts of alcohol can effect your ability to drive. Know the effect that any medication you may be taking may have on your driving ability.

Gestures and verbal altercations - Avoid eye contact, do not challenge an aggressive driver by speeding up or attempting to hold your position in traffic. Ignore verbal comments or gestures: do not return them. Report overly aggressive, threatening drivers to the police.

Inattention to driving (reading, eating, using the cell phone)

Obstructing traffic - Blocking an intersection, driving slowly or at the speed limit in the left lane of a multi-lane highway.

Aggressive horn use and headlight use - Use your horn with discretion. Noise is a contributing factor to stress. Drive with headlights on low beam. Use common driving courtesy as a method of avoiding aggressive driving confrontations

Aggressive driversAggressive driving is defined as: Driving in a selfish, bold or pushy manner, without regard for the rights or safety of the other users of the roadways.

Excessive or habitual speeding may be a result of the driver being late or involved in too many tasks which seem to take up more time than planned.

Rushed or behind schedule.
Increase in traffic congestion
Careless or inconsiderate drivers
Inexperienced drivers.


Habitually aggressive drivers are giving control of their vehicle to the driving conditions, the other drivers, personal problems at home or problems at work.

Here are some methods you can use to maintain and take control in stressful driving situations.

Allow enough time to travel to your destination to be on time.
Find alternative routes to avoid highly congested traffic areas.
If you are going to be late, call ahead so you can relax.
Don't drive when you are angry, upset or tired.
Make your personal space inside the vehicle comfortable.
Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt: be courteous.
Personalize the other drivers. Remember, they are somebody"s family and friends.
Think about the possible consequences of unsafe actions. "What if" the driver ahead of me stops suddenly am I following too close to stop in time to avoid a crash.
Don't tailgate. This only frustrates you and creates an unsafe driving situation with the vehicle ahead of you. You never know how they will react.

We all have enough stressful situations in our lives. If more drivers do the "right" thing, then there will be fewer drivers doing the "wrong" thing. The end result would benefit everyone on the road.