Aggressive driving is a deadly factor in more than 5 million car crashes every year in the United States. Collisions are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 3 to 33. And aggressive driving is among the top 12 causes of fatal collisions. More than 50 percent of deadly crashes are caused by aggressive driving.
Aggressive driving behaviors can include:
Speeding: 33 percent of traffic fatalities are speed-related.
Street racing: Less than half of the victims, 47 percent, who die from a street racing accident are the actual driver. The rest are either passengers, audience members, or people walking by or driving home.
Frequent/unnecessary lane changes: 24 percent of drivers purposefully block other drivers from entering into their lane. (49 million drivers)
Tailgating: 51 percent of drivers purposefully tailgate other vehicles. (104 million drivers)
Running red or yellow lights: More than 1 in 3 drivers (37 percent) admit to running a traffic light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely.
Cutting off other drivers: 12 percent of drivers purposefully cut off another vehicle. (24 million drivers)
Angry gestures or yelling: 47 percent of drivers verbally yell at other drivers. (95 million drivers)
What to Do If You Cannot Avoid an Aggressive Driver
When you are confronted with an aggressive driver, it is important to know what to do to avoid getting into a serious crash or at least reduce the likelihood of one. Below are some guidelines to follow if you are confronted by a driver displaying aggressive driving behaviors:
- Do not respond to the other driver. Avoid any escalation of conflict.
- Avoid eye contact with the aggressive driver or any of the occupants.
- Be tolerant and forgiving. The aggressive driver may be having a really bad day and be looking for a way to vent anger.
- Be sure to allow enough room around your vehicle so that you can pull out or around if someone approaches your vehicle.
- Do not get out of your vehicle – it offers protection.
- Drive to a busy public place where there are witnesses, such as a hospital or fire station. Once there, use your horn to attract others’ attention if needed.
- If necessary, call 911 for assistance.