ADAPT: Aggressive Drivers Are Public Threats
When you drive aggressively, you are putting yourself and others in danger. Aggressive dirving can lead to property damage, injury and death.
Are you an aggressive driver? Do you...
- Express frustration when driving?
- Taking out your frustrations on your fellow motorists can lead to violence or a crash.
- Fail to pay attention when driving?
- Reading, eating, drinking or talking on the phone can be a major cause of roadway crashes.
- This is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious injuries or death.
- Make frequent lane changes?
- If you whip in and out of lanes to advance ahead, you can be a danger to other motorists.
- Run red lights?
- Do not enter an intersection on a yellow light. Remember, flashing red lights should be treated as a stop sign.
- Going faster than the posted speed limit, being a "road racer," and going too fast for conditions are some examples of speeding.
- Fail to yield when posted to do so?
- This is a leading cause of crashes.
Plan ahead. Allow extra time.
- Don't allow yourself to become distracted by using your cell phone, eating, drinking or putting on makeup.
- Tune the radio to your favorite relaxing music. Music can calm your nerves and help you enjoy your time in the vehicle.
- Drive the posted speed limits.
- Fewer crashes occur when vehicles are traveling at or about the same speed.
- Identify alternate routes.
- Look for a new route that may be less congested. Even if it is longer than the current route, it may take less time.
- Just be late.
- If all else fails, you will likely be late anyway. You might as well be safe.
Who are the aggressive drivers?
These high risk drivers climb into the anonymity of an automobile and take out their frustrations on anybody, at any time. Frustration levels are high, and level of concern for fellow motorists is low.
They run stop signs and red lights, speed, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, pass on the right, make improper and unsafe lane changes, make hand and facial gestures, scream, honk, and flash their lights.
They drive at speeds far in excess of the norm which causes them to:
- Follow too closely
- Change lanes frequently and abruptly without notice (signals)
- Pass on the shoulder or unpaved portions of the roadway
- Leer at or threaten, verbally or through gestures, motorists who are "thoughtless" enough to be in front of them
When confronted by an aggressive driver, you should...
- First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of their way.
- Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to "hold your own" in your travel lane.
- Wear your seat belt. It will hold you in your seat and behind the wheel in case you need to make an abrupt driving maneuver.
- Avoid eye contact.
- Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
- Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities by providing a vehicle description, license number, location, and if possible, direction of travel.
- If you have a cell phone, and can do it safely, pull over and call police at 9-1-1.
- If you witness a crash that may have been caused by an aggressive driver, do not stop at the scene unless you feel you can render aid to the victims. Go to a safe location, contact the authorities and inform them of your observations. Witness statements can provide invaluable information in any investigation.