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Published On: Wed, Jul 19th, 2023

4 Notable Behaviors of Aggressive Drivers

You will encounter several aggressive drivers when driving in the city or on a highway. Such drivers are often known for their rude behavior behind the wheel and are prone to making dangerous moves, which could lead to accidents or even injuries. 

Aggressive driving is more prevalent than most people think. According to the American Automobile Association, at least 80% of drivers show significant anger, road rage, or aggression at least once every year. 

Whether you are often on the road or not, identifying the most notable behaviors of aggressive drivers can help you keep safe while driving. 

photo/ Gerd Altmann

Lane Weaving

Lane weaving involves switching from one lane to another without a turn signal. This dangerous practice is often associated with driving under the influence, as it’s difficult to drive safely and make the right decisions while drunk. 

A minor error during lane weaving can result in an accident that can cause injuries or death. So, if you notice a driver switching from one lane to the other carelessly, pull over to call the police and report the vehicle’s location and license plate number.

Driving on the Right Shoulder

Most state laws require drivers to drive on the right side of the road and overtake other vehicles on the left. The right shoulder lane should only be used during emergencies and must be done safely.

However, some drivers choose to ignore this requirement in an effort to get ahead of other vehicles. This is illegal and can cause accidents for other road users, including pedestrians, emergency personnel, or individuals working on the right shoulder lane. 

Tailgating

Tailgating occurs when a motorist follows another too closely, leaving little or no room for error or reaction time. 

This behavior is often the result of impatience or road rage and can easily lead to a rear-end collision. According to a 2019 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, around 32% of vehicle crashes involve a tailgating driver.

If you notice another driver tailgating you, do your best to move out of the way safely and let them pass. 

Brake-Checking

When an aggressive driver wants to punish someone for cutting them off or going too slowly, they’ll brake-check them. This is when they suddenly slam on their brakes, hoping the other driver will rear-end them.

While break-checking may seem harmless, it can quickly turn dangerous and lead to a collision, resulting in serious injuries and property damage.

If another driver brake-checks you, the right thing to do is to increase the following distance and try to keep your cool. You can also pull over and let them drive away. 

How Can You Stay Safe from aggressive drivers?

“The best way to avoid an altercation with an aggressive driver is to keep your distance and not engage. In some extreme cases, such as intense tailgating, let them pass and prioritize safety on the road,” says Amy Gaiennie, an attorney with Amy G Injury Firm.

If an aggressive driver gets too close to your car because of heavy traffic, and you can’t avoid them, stay put and concentrate on your driving. Panicking will worsen the situation if things get out of hand.

Moreover, avoid eye contact and never make gestures or yell. And if an aggressive driver keeps following you regardless of your efforts to avoid them, drive to a police station or busy area where there are witnesses. 

Like any driving situation, motorists should keep a calm and attentive attitude on the road to keep everyone safe.

Author: Anu T

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