The Threat of Aggressive Driving

The Threat of Aggressive Driving

I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. Aggressive drivers are a threat to others on the road, but the behavior is common. Learn about aggressive drivers and what to do if you are targeted by one.

Aggressive Driving Versus Road Rage

Aggressive driving exists when a driver is impatient, angry, stressed or hurrying and disregards the safety of other drivers on the road. This may include the following actions:

  • Tailgating
  • Speeding when traffic is heavy
  • Cutting into and out of traffic to get ahead instead of going with the flow of traffic
  • Not using turn signals when changing lanes
  • Reckless driving such as running a traffic sign or red light
  • Speeding up or slowing down to block a vehicle that is trying to change lanes or pass

Road rage is extreme behavior that is threatening to other motorists. It can include:

  • Making obscene gestures or yelling at other motorists
  • Sideswiping another vehicle intentionally
  • Throwing objects at another driver
  • Intentionally running into another vehicle
  • Running another vehicle off the road on purpose

How Common Is Aggressive Driving?

According to the American Automobile Association, aggressive driving is common, depending on the type of behavior exhibited. Behaviors that indicate aggressive driving are as follows:

  • 47 percent: Yelled at another driver
  • 51 percent: Tailgated another car on purpose
  • 33 percent: Made gestures at another driver
  • 45 percent: Honked at another driver
  • 12 percent: Intentionally cut off another vehicle
  • 24 percent: Intentionally stopped another vehicle from changing lanes
  • 3 percent: Ran into another vehicle intentionally
  • 4 percent: Exited their vehicle to approach another driver in anger

Don’t Be an Aggressive Driver

Any driver can have a bad day, be in a hurry or just feel stressed out. Some drivers don’t even realize they are driving aggressively. Some of the following suggestions may help.

  • Make yourself more comfortable. This can include adjusting your seat, lowering a window to get fresh air or tuning on your radio to a favorite station.
  • Leave for wherever you are going a little early. Being late can cause a driver to take risks, especially if it’s for an important appointment.
  • Remember that taking risks such as speeding endangers your own life as well as others on the road. Just slow down. A few minutes longer on the road, so you get where you are going safely is worth it.
  • Be a polite driver. Allow others to merge when necessary, and don’t try to beat traffic lights before they change.
  • Avoid distractions when driving. Talking to someone on your cell phone, eating and other distractions can cause an accident.

Avoiding Aggressive Drivers

Becoming the target of an aggressive driver can be frightening. The following suggestions may help avoid a situation that goes out of control.

  • Ignore angry gestures or language directed at you.
  • Don’t take up more than one parking space.
  • Let other vehicles pass you.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Call 911 and report it if you see someone driving dangerously.
  • Ensure you are in the correct lane. Blocking the turn lane can make some drivers upset.
  • Stay out of the passing lane if you are driving slower than other traffic. Keep to the right.
  • Don’t make eye contact with aggressive drivers.

Related Articles by Ed Smith, Your Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento ~

Sacramento Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. Aggressive driving can lead to accidents and resultant injuries. If an aggressive driver caused your injuries or those of a family member, give me a call at (916) 921-6400 to hear my advice, which is friendly and free. Long-distance callers may contact me through (800) 404-5400 or on the contact us page.

As a Million Dollar Advocates member, I joined a group reserved for lawyers with client verdicts/settlements of $1 million, which shows how I have worked hard to obtain fair compensation for clients.

To read about prior awards for clients and what they have had to say about my law practice, please visit:

It has been an honor for me to have served Northern Californians and Sacramento residents with their personal injury claims such as in wrongful death cases and brain injuries since I began my practice in 1982.

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