We all get frustrated behind the wheel. Maybe we’re late and someone is driving too slowly ahead of us, or we get stuck in a traffic jam. The fact is that driving can be stressful. Unfortunately, not all drivers handle this stress very well and become aggressive.
Aggressive drivers put all other road users around them in harm’s way. If you share the road with them, you can wind up paying the price for their bad decisions.
Aggressive driving by the numbers
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, about two-thirds of all fatal crashes in the U.S. involve an aggressive driver.
Further, statistics on road rage and aggressive driving reveal that:
- Half of drivers admit to responding aggressively when another driver is careless
- Over one-third of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm
- There are about 30 road rage fatalities every year
- Road rage incidents have increased by 500 percent in the last decade
These numbers highlight how dangerous being angry or aggressive behind the wheel can be. When you combine elements like firearms and massive, powerful vehicles with an outraged or reckless driver, the outcome can be disastrous.
What does aggressive driving look like?
The best way to stay safe on the road with an aggressive driver is to avoid them altogether. You can do this by watching out for signs of danger, including:
- Excessive honking
- Following you or others too closely
- Weaving through traffic
- Making rude hand gestures
- Obstructing lanes or blocking vehicles
- Brake-checking other cars
If you notice these behaviors, keeping your distance can be crucial. If you can do so safely, you can pull over, slow down or turn off the road to avoid interactions with a dangerous driver. Doing so could ultimately save your life.
Because these drivers often operate their vehicles in an unsafe manner, there is an increased risk to property and people that get in the line of the aggressive party. Speeding, driving too closely and trying to cause damage are elements that can make any accident go from bad to worse – much worse.
Aggressive drivers put others in danger – there is no doubt about it. Holding them accountable for the damage they leave in their wake is essential.