Aggressive driving is said to be the cause of
50 to 70% of car collisions.

Many people say aggression on the road has increased over the years.

There is good reason to believe this is true. One of the major causes for annoyance while driving is crowded and congested roads.

Here are some interesting facts from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey put out by the Federal Highway Administration:

Household vehicles 1969:   72,500
Household vehicles 2001:   202,586

Household vehicle trips 1969:   87,284
Household vehicle trips 2001:   233,040

Household vehicle miles traveled 1969:   775,940
Household vehicle miles traveled 2001:   2,874,797

As you can see above both the number of vehicles and vehicle trips per household more than doubled from 1969 to 2001, while the amount of miles traveled more than tripled over the same period.

This means much more traffic on the roads with more congestion and crowded freeways and side streets.

If it seems there are more aggressive drivers now there probably are because there are more drivers on the road to get aggravated.

Also those drivers who wouldn't have be aggressive in low volume traffic often will show aggression in driving with heavy volume traffic.

Alcohol and road aggression

Alcohol is shown to increase aggressiveness behind the wheel. According to NHTSA about 49% of speeding drivers ages 21-24 involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .08 or higher.
It is possible to have a DUI removed from your record, but it is better to decide you will never drive after consuming alcohol.

Below are three common definitions of many definitions
used to describe aggressive driving.

1."Operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property"

(NHTSA "Aggressive Driving And The Law")

2. "Driving actions that markedly exceed the norms of safe driving behavior and that directly affect other road users by placing them in unnecessary danger."

(NHTSA "Countermeasures That Work")

3. "Any driving that is: "deliberate, likely to increase the risk of collision, and is motivated by impatience, annoyance, hostility, and or an attempt to save time."

(Leo Tasca "A Review of The Literature On Aggressive Driving Research")

Here are the top four aggressive driving offenses that were cited from a 2004 study in Marion county Indiana, funded by NHTSA:

1. Speeding- 916 citations
2. Following too close- 244 citations
3. Unsafe lane changes- 173 citations
4. Failure to yield the right of way- 22 citations

You don't have to be a habitual aggressive driver to be guilty of these offenses. Every driver engages in these behaviors from time to time. And it only takes doing one of these at the wrong time to cause a collision.

Collisions caused by aggressive drivers

Attempting to get ahead of others on the road can lead to road rage in you and it may provoke road rage in other drivers.

click here for tips on reducing your own contentious habits behind the wheel

How to react to an inconsiderate driver:

1.Don't challenge them.

Your goal should not be to stay ahead of and race other drivers.
your goal should be safety.
When I picked up my speed as a van was speeding beside me, that was because the lane was soon ending. It was for a safety reason not to stay ahead of him.

2. Don't hinder the driver from what they are attempting to do.

Whether it's trying to speed past you, make a lane change,go out of turn at a stop sign or red light, let them do it without trying to stop them or slow them down.
Trying to stop or hinder a combative driver could cause his anger to rise into road rage and retaliate against you.

3. Get out of their way and let them go on.

You are going to be safer to let them get past you. If they do have a collision because of how they drive , you don't want to be a part of it.

4. Don't take their inconsiderate driving personally

A person driving in an aggressive style is not thinking
about you as a person.
He is just thinking about getting around you and where he is going.
Unless they know you and you know they don't like you, it's not about you.

5. Remember a driver might have a justified reason for his seemingly careless road habits, such as going to a life threatening emergency.

You will be better off to give the driver the benefit of the doubt than letting your frustration at them rise.

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