Road rage and aggressive driving have been making headlines for years and so has the damage that aggressive driving can cause, such as auto body collisions and pile ups. But did you ever stop and ask yourself, “Am I an aggressive driver”?
Know the Warning Signs
You may be an aggressive driver if you regularly speed. Speeding — especially faster than the rest of the surrounding traffic — is aggressive and dangerous. Weaving in and out of traffic is a clear sign of aggressive driving, and so is “pushing your way through traffic” — tailgating cars to try to force them to the right lane.
Other signs of aggressive driving are anger, impatience, competitiveness and vindictiveness. Some of these are good traits if you are a professional wrestler, but for driving they’re negatives. Typical maneuvers of aggressive drivers include running red lights, passing in no-passing zones, passing on the right, not yielding to other drivers and running stop signs.
But I’m in a Hurry
If you display any aggressive driving behaviors, consider this: statistics show you’re not going to get anywhere faster. Other drivers often not only fail to speed up or move out of your way, but will stay where they are and drive a little slower. And the key thing is, by driving recklessly you run the risk that you’ll damage your vehicle in an auto accident landing yourself with a hefty bill from the body shop or worse; you can become a fatality statistic and never get where you want to go.
The National Safety Council offers the following driver safety tips to help reduce stress behind the wheel:
• Allow enough travel time to reach your destination on time.
• Find alternative routes to avoid highly congested traffic areas.
• If you are going to be late, call ahead so you can relax.
• Don’t drive when you are angry, upset or tired.
• Make your personal space inside the vehicle comfortable.
• Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt; be courteous.
• Personalize the other drivers. Remember, they are somebody’s family and friends.