Sometimes, a car accident simply can't be avoided. However, as Kansas City personal injury lawyers, we know that many serious crashes are preventable, provided drivers act with regard for the safety of other motorists. In this post, we discuss the dangers of aggressive driving and recommend a few tips to help promote safe travel for all Missourians.
What is aggressive driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as occurring when "an individual commits a combination of moving offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." Aggressive driving often involves dangerous driving behaviors like speeding, making quick lane changes, failing to yield, tailgating and running stoplights or stop signs. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nearly 90% of drivers nationwide believe that aggressive drivers pose a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" threat to their personal safety.
It's important to note that there's a distinction between aggressive driving and what's commonly known as "road rage." While the term aggressive driving tends to refer to a series of traffic violations, road rage is a criminal offense defined as "an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or is caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway." Both behaviors, however, can cause serious auto accidents.
How can aggressive driving behaviors be prevented?
Dealing with traffic conditions can be stressful, and it's easy to get frustrated. However, there are a few important steps you can take to help ensure you keep your cool when you're behind the wheel.
• Allow yourself extra time to drive to your destination. This way, you'll be less likely to become impatient with heavy traffic, construction zones, and other roadway scenarios that may slow your pace.
• Stay calm and focus on your own driving. Remember, there's nothing you can do to change or control traffic: yelling, laying on your horn and pounding on the steering wheel might be tempting, but will ultimately do no good. Control your emotions and avoid taking your frustration out on other drivers.