Who’s at risk?
If you or drivers around you speed, tailgate, make frequent and sudden lane changes, fail to yield right-of-way, and disregard traffic signals, you’re at risk from aggressive driving. These types of behaviors cause over 50% of all crashes.
Reduce your own potential aggressiveness. Keep in mind:
- Driving is not a win or lose situation. The only winners are those drivers who reach their destination safely. Allow other vehicles to pass and make room ahead of your vehicle.
- Aggressive driving only leads to more aggressive driving. In general, the more courtesy you give to others, the more you get back.
- Driving doesn’t have to be a nervous, anxious experience focused on hurrying to a destination. Let it be personal time spent in a personal space. Listen to music, or think about something pleasant.
- Plan your trips with enough time so that you don’t feel rushed.
- Don’t drive when angry, upset, or overly tired.
- Personalize other drivers. Remember that every driver is someone’s family member or friend.
When others are aggressive, you can prevent escalation into road rage. Here’s how:
- If someone drives aggressively and cuts you off on a highway, don’t shake your fist or flash your lights. Instead, slow down and let them in.
- Drive in the appropriate lane for your speed and allow enough distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
- Don’t take the behavior of aggressive drivers as a personal attack; they are aggressive to most cars that get in their way. Concentrate on driving safely.
- It’s not your responsibility to punish aggressive drivers. Leave it up to law enforcement.
Content used with permission from the National Safety Council, a membership organization dedicated to protecting life and promoting health.
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This content was last modified on: 08/11/2008