Beware of aggressive drivers. You know them when you see them. This group includes speeders, tailgaters, excessive horn-blowers and generally unsafe drivers who try to force other motorists to get out of their way.
By trusting your instincts and taking the necessary precautions to avoid these road menaces, you just may save yourself from serious and even fatal injuries. Keeping your distance and not engaging with these drivers are important tenets to abide by.
Cause more deaths than drunk drivers
How dangerous are aggressive drivers? An estimated two-thirds of U.S. traffic fatalities are tied to aggressive drivers, according to research from the Arizona State University Center for Problem-Oriented Policing.
But another critical finding from this research: aggressive drivers cause up to four times more traffic deaths than drunk drivers. This statistic should jolt any driver. Aggressive drivers run the gamut. However, young, white and poorly educated men under 30 who drive high-performance vehicles represented the largest group, according to the report.
Speeding and tailgating
Among the signs of an aggressive driver include:
- Speeding: According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nearly 9,500 road fatalities in 2019 were caused by speeding.
- Tailgating: A dangerous road behavior that can lead to a serious crash. These drivers, too, are impatient and may think that the driving lane belongs to them. You should move to the adjoining lane as soon as it is safe to do so.
- Weaving in and out of traffic and cutting off other drivers: These behaviors go hand in hand as these drivers may think weaving in and out of traffic saves them time in a dangerous game similar to the old video game Frogger.
- Flashing headlights: Another sign of an impatient driver who insists that you make way for him or her because of their self-centered and dangerous behavior.
- Blocking other drivers thus preventing them from changing lanes: For some reason, this aggressive driver is upset with you or merely toying with you. Either way, you should slow down and keep your distance.
- Horn-honking, yelling and obscene gestures: This is usually the clincher. Avoid these drivers the best that you can and do not engage with them.
What triggers aggressive driving behavior? It may be a perceived slight from the other driver or just the actions of a bully.
You want a safe trip home
Do you best to steer clear of aggressive drivers. Also, do not fall into the trap of mimicking their behavior and suddenly finding yourself in a “duel” with these reckless, dangerous, unstable and selfish people. The reward for you is a safe trip home.