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AGGRESSIVE DRIVING & ROAD RAGE

SAFTEY FIRST / Post date:
1 September 2020
Aggressive Driving & Road Rage

"Be sure to always stay calm, don’t offend, be tolerant, and never respond to an aggressive driver"

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. 

  • Get plenty of sleep and reduce your stress before and while you drive
  • Give the drive your full attention and don’t allow yourself to become distracted by talking on your cell phone, eating, etc. 
  • Be realistic about your travel time and expect delays because of traffic, construction, or bad weather
  • Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt
  • Maintain a safe following distance and always use your turn signals
  • Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic
  • Avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver, even seemingly harmless expressions of irritation like shaking your head
  • Be a cautious and courteous driver
  • If another driver seems eager to merge in front of you, allow them to do so

 

If you are faced with an aggressive driver, experts suggest you may be able to avoid a confrontation by following these tips:

  • First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of their way
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold your own in your travel lane 
  • Ignore gestures and refuse to react to them
  • Create a safe amount of distance between your vehicle and theirs
  • If you have a cell phone, and can use it safely, call 911

 

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!