Aggressive drivers: more dangerous than drunk drivers

You have encountered them occasionally whether on your treks to the supermarket, picking up the kids from swimming class or heading home from work. An aggressive driver is not difficult to spot, so do your best to steer clear of them because they represent potential trouble.

Aggressive driving has become a significant problem, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years as more impatient and hurried drivers subscribe to rude and dangerous habits. This list includes cutting off other drivers, frequently changing lanes, speeding, tailgating, failing to signal and blowing through red lights and stop signs.

Cause more traffic deaths

Such drivers are dangerous and, sometimes, at the root of a major crash that leads to debilitating, life-threatening and fatal injuries. The Arizona State University Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, assembled a study on aggressive drivers and found key things:

  • Significant link to traffic fatalities: Roughly two-thirds of traffic fatalities are attributed to aggressive driving behavior such as speeding, improperly changing lanes and running red lights. Also, one-third of traffic injuries come as the result of an aggressive driver.
  • Bad influence on other drivers: Other drivers filled with anger and anxiety may reach a boiling point when confronted by an aggressive driver and suddenly find themselves mimicking these same dangerous habits.
  • Even more dangerous than drunk drivers: During the 10-year period of 2010 to 2019, more than 10,000 people died each year due to drunk drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Aggressive drivers wind up killing two to four times that amount. That represents a range of 20,000 to 40,000 people who died preventable deaths.

Now, you may understand just why defensive driving is so important. That holds the key to any situation on the road and serves as a significant ally when coping with an aggressive driver.

Stay away and stay alert

Aggressive drivers may think that they have carte blanche – having the freedom to do whatever they like to do – whenever they get behind the wheel. You cannot change them, but you can do your best to stay away from them.