READING - Aggressive Driving: Research Update

AAA FTS logo"Aggressive driving is a major concern of the American public, ranking at or near the top of traffic safety issues in national surveys of motorists. However, the concept of aggressive driving is not well defined, and its overall impact on traffic safety has not been well quantified due to inadequacies and limitation of available data.

This paper reviews published scientific literature on aggressive driving; discusses various definitions of aggressive driving; cites several specific behaviors that are typically associated with aggressive driving; and summarizes past research on the individuals or groups most likely to behave aggressively.

Since adequate data to precisely quantify the percentage of fatal crashes that involve aggressive driving do not exist, in this review, we have quantified the number of fatal crashes in which one or more driver actions typically associated with aggressive driving were reported. We found these actions were reported in 56 percent of fatal crashes from 2003 through 2007, with excessive speed being the number one factor.

Ideally, an estimate of the prevalence of aggressive driving would include only instances in which such actions were performed intentionally; however, available data on motor vehicle crashes do not contain such information, thus it is important to recognize that this 56 percent may to some degree overestimate the contribution of aggressive driving to fatal crashes.

On the other hand, it is likely that aggressive driving contributes to at least some crashes in which it is not reported due to lack of evidence."

The previous paragraphs were quoted directly from the document overview.


Aggressive Driving Research Update April 2009 (PDF)


food for thought

This paragraph from the report, says it all.

It is very important for drivers to honestly assess their own driving practices. To be truly safe and responsible drivers, people must discard notions that they can safely perform unsafe behaviors because of their above average skills, and they must stop simply “blaming the other guy.” Helping motorists understand the scope and magnitude of aggressive driving and other inappropriate behaviors, and instilling an appreciation for the magnitude of the threat posed by these acts, is a vital first step in achieving the positive traffic safety culture we envision.


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