The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property. Aggressive driving occasionally escalates to gesturing in anger or yelling at another motorist, confrontation, physical assault, and even murder. “Road rage” is the label that has emerged to describe the angry and violent behaviors at the extreme of the aggressive driving continuum. An important distinction is that aggressive driving is a traffic violation, while road rage is a criminal offense.
Recent studies conducted by the NHTSA indicate that road rage incidents are on the rise in the U.S. Fatalities resulting from crashes linked to aggressive driving increased from 80 instances in 2006 to 467 in 2015, which is nearly a 500 percent increase in 10 years.
A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly 80 percent of drivers are reported to have expressed significant anger and aggression behind the wheel. Findings suggest that approximately eight million U.S. drivers engaged in some type of road rage, including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver.
Truck drivers are neither immune to this behavior themselves nor able to completely avoid aggressive driving exhibited by other drivers. However, you can reduce the chances of exhibiting aggressive driving behaviors by following some of the tips listed below that have been identified in the Commercial Driver’s License Manual and by experts in the field.
If you are faced with an aggressive driver, experts suggest you may be able to avoid a confrontation by following these tips:
As a driver, you and you alone are responsible for controlling your behaviors and actions. Be sure to always stay calm, don’t offend, be tolerant, and never respond to an aggressive driver.
Always remember… safety first!