Aggressive driving can be a major safety concern, causing unnecessary risks on the road and potentially resulting in crashes with devastating consequences. Auto accidents due to aggressive driving can have serious repercussions for all individuals involved. In this blog post we will explore some of the main causes of aggressive driving behavior and discuss best practices for avoiding this dangerous style of maneuvering behind the wheel.
5 Reasons People Drive Aggressively
Studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and American Psychology Association (APA) found that people were more likely to drive aggressively when they are less visible. Driving a vehicle with tinted windows or at night provides more anonymity in comparison to driving a convertible with an open-top. A car can make drivers feel “unidentifiable” and makes them believe they can behave in ways they may not normally act. Therefore, drivers may participate in forms of aggressive driving such as honking, speeding, or tailgating due to their feelings of anonymity in their vehicle.
2. Congested Roads
Traffic congestion is a major issue for many people, and unfortunately it can lead to aggressive driving behaviors. Drivers under the pressure of impaired progress may feel frustrated and angry, resulting in dangerous situations that could put their lives and the lives of others at risk.
Speeding is one of the most common responses to traffic congestion, with drivers feeling they must hurry out of a certain area or surpass other vehicles in order to maintain their pace on the road. When this behavior is combined with frequent lane changes or hostile attitudes toward fellow travelers, the situation can quickly become dangerous.
3. Running Late
Aggressive driving can become the go-to option for those running late. Not only does this kind of behavior put the driver and others at risk on the road, but it also adds a greater sense of stress for drivers who need to get from one place to another quickly. Congested roads can lead to already late drivers feeling behind on their schedules and lead to speeding, cutting off other drivers, and increased anger towards those who appear to be “slowing them down.”
4. Displaced Anger
Aggressive driving can provide insight into how people handle stress. According to the APA, those who experience something called “short-fused driving” have increased levels of trait anger, anxiety, and impulsiveness. Such drivers are more likely to become frustrated due to work or home stress, leading them to act out behind the wheel. These high-anger drivers not only put themselves at risk but other passengers or pedestrians as well if their aggression escalates to outright road rage.
Aggressive driving can also be due to traits such as power hunger, selfishness, and an overall hostile nature. These drivers may think they are superior to other drivers, causing them to ignore speed limits, tailgate other cars, or try to squeeze in when there's no room. In many cases, they may even go so far as to disobey traffic signals and perform maneuvers that endanger the lives of others. In addition to this disregard for the law, these types of aggressive drivers may not even see other people on the road as real people.
What to Do When You Encounter an Aggressive Driver
Unfortunately, according to a Nationwide survey, many Americans believe that driving has become more aggressive in recent years. 81% of survey participants found other drivers on the road to be more aggressive and 76% of survey answers also believed that drivers were more reckless recently.
When you encounter an aggressive driver on the road, there are a few points to follow:
- It’s best for your safety to let them pass or move out of their way.
- Avoiding eye contact with them can also help to avoid conflict.
- If the driver begins to follow you, call 911 and drive to the nearest police station.
Should you end up in an accident due to an aggressive driver’s driving and suffer serious injuries, seeking help from a personal injury lawyer can help you take legal action to find compensation for your injuries. You may be able to find coverage for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages due to time off, and more.
Our attorneys at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. have over 20 years of experience helping clients after car accidents. Don’t hesitate to call us. We’re dedicated to helping each and every one of our clients.
Call at (603) 288-1403 or contact us online.