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Aggressive Driving

Aggressive Driving

  1. What is aggressive driving?
  2. Do You Have The Traits of an Aggressive Driver?
  3. The Speed Factor
  4. Running Red Lights
  5. Stopping Aggressive Driving

1. What is Aggressive driving?

Aggressive driving is defined as a combination of unsafe and unlawful driving actions, which demonstrate a conscious and willful disregard for safety. Aggressive driving includes such offenses as tailgating, unsafe lane changes, speeding, running red lights and stop signs, following too closely, improper passing and failing to yield the right of way.

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2. Do You Have the Traits of an Aggressive Driver?

Do You Ever...

  • Drive too fast, over the posted speed limit?
  • Run red lights or stop signs?
  • Weave in and out of traffic?
  • Change lane frequently and abruptly without the use of signals?
  • Tailgate other vehicles?
  • Follow too closely?

These are the most dangerous aggressive driving behaviors. The fact is, most motorists drive this way at times. Anytime you become selfish, irritated, bold or pushy in your vehicle, you stop respecting the rights and safety of other drivers and pedestrians.

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3. The Speed Factor

Typically, aggressive driving involves excessive speeding. Speeding is one of the most common causes associated with crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is a factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, killing about 1,000 people in the U.S. every month.

In 2002, more than 13,000 people were killed in crashes involving speed, according to NHTSA.

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4. Running Red Lights

Running red lights and disobeying other traffic controls like stop signs are the most frequently reported types of crashes. Red light runners are more than three times as likely to have multiple speeding convictions on their driver record, according to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Every year more than 900 people die and nearly 200,000 are injured in crashes involving red light running. Nearly half of the deaths are pedestrians and occupants in other vehicles who are hit by the red light runner, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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5. Stopping Aggressive Driving

Effective Methods to Combat the Problem - and Its Causes

In an effort to combat the issue of aggressive driving, police, government officials, trauma experts, and others in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington developed the Smooth Operator Program, Pennsylvania will join this regional effort beginning March 2007:

  • More than 66 law enforcement agencies coordinated efforts to target aggressive drivers, conducting enforcement "waves." In 2003, they issued 238,198 citations and warnings for aggressive driving behaviors.
  • Enforcement waves coincide with advertising blitzes to inform and educate the public and stigmatize the behavior.
  • Other methods include the development of high-technology law enforcement tools, and the study of anger management courses to change behavior among convicted aggressive drivers.
  • Research and evaluations are conducted yearly to study the problem and solutions.
  • The program is guided by professionals who meet regularly and share information to better understand the triggers and ways of curbing the threat.

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