Aggressive Driving

Angry DriverA good definition of an aggressive driver is "an individual committing a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." Do you fit this definition? A paper on the subject that I read recently states that the answer to this question is most likely "no."

The paper suggested that the problem with regulating aggressive driving is that behavior defined as aggressive by law is considered normal by everyday drivers. A survey found that 50 percent of drivers surveyed felt that speeding up for a yellow light was not aggressive behavior. In addition, 53 percent of these drivers felt blocking the passing lane was not aggressive and 36 percent did not consider tailgating aggressive.

Watch the vehicles around you the next time you are on a busy highway. Chances are, you will soon see drivers who need to go faster than everyone else. They end up tailgating the vehicle in front and when it doesn't move, make sudden lane changes to go around, often without signalling. These drivers in my experience are not just young males, but run the gamut from young to old and are both men and women.

Do these drivers realize what they are doing? I think some do and don't care, but the majority are just in a hurry and don't consider the possible consequences of their actions. They've done it before and nothing bad resulted, so it is easier to continue or escalate the behaviour. Unfortunately, waiting until something does happen is not the way to find out you've gone too far.

So, the next time you are in a hurry and find yourself cursing the slug ahead of you who is only 5 over the limit and won't get out of the way, even with you riding only a few feet off their back bumper, take a good look at yourself in the rearview mirror. Think of all you will gain by doing this and compare it to all that you may lose if today is the day you go just a bit too far. You might even find yourself among the few in the right hand lane doing the speed limit.

References:

Aggressive Driving - NCSL Review

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