Almost 79 percent of American motorists engage in aggressive driving such as speeding and driving through traffic signals. A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey revealed that men tend to be more aggressive drivers. More actions are also needed to prevent car accidents caused by this behavior.
Aggressive driving is unsafe behavior that is performed intentionally or with disregard to safety. It includes speeding in heavy traffic, tailgating, cutting in front of another driver, driving through red lights, weaving in and out of traffic, changing lanes without using signals, blocking vehicles attempting to pass or change lanes and using brakes or headlights to harass other drivers.
Road rage is more serious types of aggressive driving. Examples include cursing or making rude or obscene gestures, throwing objects, ramming, sideswiping, and forcing a motorist off the road.
The AAA found that men tend to engage in more aggressive driving behavior. Younger drivers of both genders tend to engage in aggressive driving more than older motorists.
In the most abused category, speeding, 52 percent of male motorists drove 15 mph over the speed limit compared to 44.6 percent of female drivers. Results were similar in the other most cited categories:
- Eight percent of male drivers followed the vehicle in front closely to prevent another vehicle from merging compared to 29.3 percent of female drivers.
- Four percent of male drivers made rude gestures or honked at another driver compared to 29.3 percent of female drivers.
- Two percent of males drove through a red light compared to 30 percent of female motorists.
- Five percent of male drivers switched lanes quickly or drove close behind another vehicle compared to 21.4 percent of female drivers.
Motorists are stressed and react unreasonably to other drivers on any average day. But the pandemic and the holiday season add to these frustrations.
In addition to following traffic laws, drivers should try to remain calm, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, use turn signals, allow other vehicles to merge and use their high beams responsibly. Motorists need to be considerate in parking lots by parking only in one spot and by not hitting other cars by opening their doors.
Drivers can avoid these situations by not making other motorists change their speed or direction in response to their driving. Do not respond to other rude or aggressive behavior, maintain space around your car, avoid eye contact and do not make gestures. Call 9-1-1 if the other driver’s behavior appears dangerous.
Attorneys can help accident victims seek compensation from another motorist’s negligence or recklessness. They can pursue this right in negotiations and legal proceedings.