Since the start of the new year, the police department has been getting numerous calls about aggressive driving on the roadways. Do you consider yourself an aggressive driver? Or is it just the other driver?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as an individual who "commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property."
- Pass other cars during congestion or bad road conditions?
- Pass slower moving vehicles on the shoulder or in the right lane?
- Speed more than 80 mph?
- Run red lights and stop signs?
- Tailgate other vehicles?
- Weave in and out of traffic?
- Change lanes frequently and abruptly without the use of signals?
- Threaten other drivers verbally or through gestures?
If you have answered "yes" to any of the above questions, your driving is placing yourself, your passengers and other motorists at risk.
If you are confronted by an aggressive driver, or witness aggressive driving behavior, follow these guidelines:
- Make every attempt to safely move out of the aggressive driver’s way.
- Do not challenge an aggressive driver by speeding up or attempting to "hold your own" in the travel lane.
- Always wear your seat belt — not only will it hold you in your seat and behind the wheel in case you need to make an abrupt driving maneuver, but it will also protect you in a crash.
- Avoid eye contact with the aggressive driver.
- Ignore gestures, and refuse to return them.
- Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities by providing a vehicle description, license number, location, and if possible, direction of travel.
- If you have a cellular phone and can use it while driving safely, call the police.
- If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther down the road, stop at a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the driving behavior that you witnessed.