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February is Aggressive Driving Awareness Month

aggressive driving

Aggressive driving accounts for more than half of all traffic fatalities. In fact, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that over 6 million crashes in the United States are caused by road rage. Many common behaviors, including racing, failing to observe signs and regulations, seeking confrontations with other drivers all qualify as potentially aggressive behaviors. Speeding is considered one of the most common contributors, accounting for one-third of all fatal crashes. Are you an aggressive driver? Take this quiz to find out.

Aggressive driving will cost you. Running red lights and stop signs, unsafe lane changes and tailgating will get you pulled over and could result in big penalties and points. So lighten up at the wheel. Because if you’re driving in a hurry, angry and act like you own the road, you’re going to get caught. Follow these rules of courtesy and safety:

  • Always allow extra travel time. Delays are among the primary factors that lead to aggressive driving.
  • Maintain distance from the vehicle in front of you so that you can stop in time to avoid a collision. In general, maintain one car length away from the vehicle in front of you for every 10 mph of speed.
  • Get adequate sleep before driving. Sleepiness is a contributing factor to road rage and lack of sleep can lead to feeling of annoyance, resentment and even anger.
  • Always signal your intentions to other drivers when turning or changing lanes.
  • Always come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs. Don’t run yellow lights.
  • Let other drivers merge and when you merge, make sure you have plenty of room.
  • If you accidentally cut someone off, try to apologize with an appropriate gesture. If someone cuts you off, slow down and give them room to merge.
  • If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by. It’s a simple courtesy to move over and let other drivers by.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • Concentrate on driving without distractions: cell phone, stereo or passengers.
  • Use your horn sparingly, only to remind drivers of your presence.
  • Never engage in inappropriate behavior such as making faces or rude gestures.
  • Extend common courtesy to other drivers at all times.
Even if you aren’t an aggressive driver yourself, you could encounter someone who is. One angry driver can’t start a fight unless another driver is willing to join. You can protect yourself by refusing to be angry at them. If someone is honking their horn or gesturing at you, ignore them and drive on. Don’t make eye contact with the other driver. Stay out of the other driver’s way or pull over in a well-populated area. If you feel the driver is dangerous to everyone on the road, get the tag on the car and report them to the police when you are somewhere safe.