We all recognize the signs of an aggressive driver: speeding, making sudden and dangerous lane changes and turns, refusing to yield to another driver trying to merge, racing through yellow lights, horn-honking to express impatience, etc. Aggressive driving greatly increases the likelihood of a collision, raises driver stress levels and wastes fuel. So why are some drivers so prone to this behavior?
Here’s a video, produced by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which explores this question and provides advice. The good news is that aggressive drivers can learn to change their behavior. What's needed most is a healthy dose of self-reflection, along with some relaxation techniques and a willingness to change how they view the task of driving.
To view the video, click on the photo or link above. You may want to pass this tip along to your fleet drivers so they can better understand the motives and triggers associated with aggressive driving.
Additionally, here are some tips from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles:
To avoid becoming an aggressive driver:
- Allow enough travel time to reach your destination on schedule.
- If possible, alter your schedule to avoid driving during peak highway congestion periods.
- If you're running late, call ahead so you can relax.
- Don't drive when you're angry, upset or overly tired.
- Make your vehicle comfortable. Listen to relaxing music and avoid situations that raise your anxiety.
- When driving, relax and remain aware of your posture. Sit back in your seat, loosen your grip on the steering wheel and don't clench your teeth.
- Give others the benefit of the doubt; be polite, courteous and forgiving.
- You can control your own reactions to other drivers. If someone else drives aggressively, do not retaliate.
When confronted by an aggressive driver:
- Avoid eye contact.
- Stay calm and relaxed.
- Make every attempt to get out of the way safely. Don't escalate the situation.
- Put your pride in the back seat. Don't challenge an aggressive driver by speeding up or attempting to hold your position in your travel lane.
- Wear a seat belt and encourage your passengers to do the same.
- Ignore harassing gestures and name calling, and do not return them.
- Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate law enforcement authorities by providing a vehicle description, location, license plate number and direction of travel.
- If an aggressive or threatening driver starts following you, don't stop or get out of your vehicle. Drive directly to the nearest police station.
- If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash, stop a safe distance from the crash scene. When the police arrive, report the driving behavior you witnessed.