The Dangers of Aggressive Driving

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Aggressive driving, also commonly referred to as road rage, involves behavior that is motivated by anger while driving. The term refers to dangerous driving with a disregard for safety and courtesy. Aggressive driving includes behaviors such as tailgaiting, speeding, failing to use turn signals, cutting off other motorists, and other dangerous behaviors. Over the last twenty years, aggressive driving has gained attention as it has been found to be the cause of serious car crashes and crimes. Aggressive driving is only one aspect of a bigger set of problems related to dangerous driving, which puts all motorists at risk.

Types of Aggressive Driving

In addition to dangerous driving, aggressive drivers often attempt to intimidate their victims by making obscene gestures and yelling. While laws vary by state, there are several offenses that aggressive drivers can be ticketed for:

  • Distracted driving occurs when a driver fails to use normal care when operating a vehicle, and endangers other people or property. In many states, distracted driving laws also include language that prohibits the use of devices such as cell phones.
  • Reckless driving is more serious than distracted driving and is generally defined as driving in a manner that creates an unjustifiable and substantial risk of harm to others.
  • Aggressive driving involves a pattern of the behaviors listed above as they occur over a short period of time.

Road Rage and Aggressive Driving

Road rage is generally considered a more extreme form of aggressive driving that involves violence or intimidation through driving activities. Road rage can involve the intent to harm others, the use of a vehicle as a weapon, and can take place outside of the vehicle involved. Road rage and aggressive driving is often caused by driver anger when the goal of getting from point A to point B is interrupted. Many drivers report feeling angry at times, though anger does not always lead to road rage and aggressive driving. Usually, individual, situational, or cultural factors combine to cause aggressive driving.

Dangers of Aggressive Driving

Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental injury and death in the United States, and aggressive driving is responsible for a large percentage of all car accidents. Studies have shown that aggressive drivers kill two to four times more people than drunk drivers. Studies also show that aggressive driving occurs often and contributes significantly to collisions involving injuries and fatalities.

What Causes People to Drive Aggressively?

There are many different factors that can lead to aggressive driving. To fix the behavior, one must understand these factors:

  • Anger and Frustration - Anger and frustration often combine with other factors leading drivers to behave in an aggressive manner.
  • Personality Traits - Studies have shown that there are two main types of personalities that are prone to aggressive driving. They include antisocial personalities and competitive personalities.
  • Environmental & Situational Factors - Environmental and situational factors can trigger aggressive driving. Environmental factors can include street design, and the road and car environment. Situational factors tend to include technologies such as mobile phones, in addition to noise, heat, traffic, or other conditions.

What Can Be Done About Aggressive Driving?

To address aggressive driving, traffic laws are enforced by police and behavior is deterred through large fines or possible jail time. Unfortunately, due to police staffing issues, the enforcement of traffic laws only partially deters aggressive drivers, as police often do not catch drivers who break the law. In some cities, surveillance technology is used and offenders are then mailed citations. As the dangers of aggressive driving have become more apparent, enhanced legislation and regulations have been proposed to keep roadways safe. Drivers can also help to prevent aggressive driving by taking their time when driving, and not allowing environmental and situational factors to affect them.

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Bernie

50 years of experience
41 reviews
Bernie
50 years of experience
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I specifically asked for Bernie to come back, since I was so pleased with the work he did on our other car. This time I got to meet Bernie personally. He is a kind family-man who exhibited the quiet confidence of someone you would expect with the 50 years of automotive experience that he has. I felt very comfortable giving him the key to my car. Two of my kids (ages two and four) came out to greet him, since they remembered him from his first visit. Bernie is great around kids and was very kind to my two-year old son who was trying to "help" Bernie do his job. Thanks again, Bernie!
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I was very pleased with Bernie's work, professionalism, and courteousness. Best brake job I have ever had, and I have had many done (and several done myself, but not on this vehicle). This was a maintenance appointment -- not a repair of something broken -- so I was surprised when the brakes felt so much better after Bernie did the work. You can really see the care he took with our vehicle when I examined everything after he was finished. Thanks, Bernie!

Daniel

9 years of experience
17 reviews
Daniel
9 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Sacramento, California
Awesome customer service. On time and answered my questions with patience. Listened to my concerns and made helpful suggestions. Seemed very knowledgeable and experienced. I will be glad to request him again. Thank you!!

Breck

18 years of experience
532 reviews
Breck
18 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Conroe, Texas
Breck was awesome! He called ahead of time and asked if he could arrive early. He was friendly and easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable with the service he was going to provide and explained things clearly to me. He smiled and made this experience a good one. I will absolutely be booking future appointments with Breck and I will recommend him and Your Mechanic services to others I know. Thank you!

Brian

19 years of experience
101 reviews
Brian
19 years of experience
BMW Z4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Brian knows what he is doing and I am so happy yourmechanic.com suggested him for my Z4 car inspection prior to purchasing and even happier he was available to perform my 1st service on the vehicle I purchased. His knowledge on the brand gave him ability to to an in depth inspection and he communicated very well informing me what to prepare for in ownership of my BMW. When he came to perform maintenance on my vehicle he shared so many tips with me. I will absolutely be having Brian come back out when I need future servicing on my car.

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