After our previous post about speeding, an Illinois auto accident lawyer of ours thought that it could be beneficial to expand on the topic of speeding to discuss aggressive driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Similar to aggressive driving, but not the same, is road rage, which is when a driver uses their vehicle as a weapon.
SmartMotorist.com reported that in the past ten years, the number of miles driven each year has increased by 35%. This being said, there are more cars on the road, and with people being stressed and feeling busier, road congestion could be contributing to the recent increase in the number of aggressive drivers on the road. Some types of aggressive driving behavior include aggressively tailgating the car in front of you, flashing lights at other cars, speeding, frequent lane changes and failing to signal, not yielding the right-of-way, ignoring traffic signals, impaired driving, offensive or rude gestures, verbal abuse, and deliberately preventing others from being able to move their vehicles.
It is also said that when a roadway or highway is congested, drivers become more frustrated and are more likely to drive aggressively. Drivers’ emotions can also affect their aggressive driving behavior. Finally, with drivers only being human, they are likely to feel territorial, even when it comes to the space around their car. When a driver feels that their territory is being encroached on, they could try to show dominance in an aggressive manner.
From the point of view of a Chicago car accident attorney, you can avoid becoming an aggressive driver by making sure that you do not operate a vehicle when angry or upset, listen to music at a lower volume, practice safe driving habits such as following traffic signals, and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you do not feel rushed. If you happen to see someone driving aggressively, it is important that you stay calm and a safe distance away. Change lanes so that you are not in the same lane as them once it is safe, and if you can’t change lanes and the driver is still behind you, maintain a safe speed and ignore any rude or aggressive gestures. Finally, try to take down any descriptors of the car that you can without compromising your own safety, and call 911 giving them the location of the car.
Our Chicago accident lawyers remind drivers that aggressive driving could take lives. By staying calm on the road when driving, and by reporting any potential aggressive drivers, we can hopefully decrease the amount of aggressive drivers that are on Illinois roadways today.