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hands on a car steering wheel with road rage written across the tops of the hands

The Dangers of Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is one of the most common factors in car accidents in the United States. Not only does such behavior play a significant role in road rage incidents, but it is also prevalent in a significant number of fatal crashes annually. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving is defined as committing a combination of traffic violations in a manner that poses a danger to other people and property. In a 2016 study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year. 

From 2003 and 2007, approximately 56 percent of traffic-related deaths from 2003 through 2007 involved aggressive driving – with excessive speed as the leading driving behavior. In fact, speeding was also the most common factor in fatal crashes in 2019. 

Besides speeding, other forms of common forms of aggressive driving and road rage include: 

  • Tailgating or following the vehicle in front of you too closely 

  • Driving too fast for conditions 

  • Racing 

  • Erratic or improper lane changes 

  • Passing where prohibited 

  • Purposefully blocking or cutting off another vehicle 

  • Disobeying traffic signals and signs 

  • Failure to signal 

  • Making an improper turn 

  • Illegally driving on road shoulder, median, or sidewalk 

  • Honking at another vehicle in anger 

  • Yelling 

  • Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver 

  • Purposefully ramming or bumping another vehicle 

Common factors that contribute to aggressive driving behavior and road rage incidents include: 

  • Heavy traffic and any type of delay on the road, whether you are sitting at a stoplight or looking for a parking space for a long period of time. 

  • Running late for work or an appointment, which can result in impatience. 

  • Disregard for other drivers on the road and the traffic laws. 

  • Believing that they can get away with risky driving behaviors because of anonymity. 

  • Learned or habitual aggressive behavior. 

Whether you are a victim of road rage or you tend to become angry on the road in certain situations, there are several steps you can take to avoid becoming a crash victim. Before your commute or drive, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination to avoid feeling rushed.  

When you are driving, do not easily react to the actions of other drivers. Resist the urge to tailgate or honk your horn. Remember, if you stop to confront another driver, all parties could be involved in a dangerous situation. 

If another driver acts aggressively toward you, keep a safe distance by changing lanes to avoid confrontation. Better yet, you could exit if the situation dangerously escalates. 

If you have been injured in a car accident in Woodstock or within the surrounding area, call The Dickinson Law Firm, LLC at (770) 924-8155 or fill out our online contact form today to request a free consultation. Serving clients throughout Northern Georgia!