Many drivers get angry on the road. Some manage to contain their anger. Others lose control and drive aggressively, endangering the lives of others.
The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies the most extreme form of aggression as road rage. For example, when someone intentionally drives into another vehicle or pulls a weapon on another road user. Yet, there is a whole range of less violent actions that could still kill or seriously injure someone. The NHTSA calls those aggressive driving.
What does aggressive driving look like?
Here are some of the acts of aggression you could experience:
- Cutting you off: You pass someone, and they do not like it. They pass you then pull tight in front of you, forcing you to brake.
- Closing gaps: You are passing and calculate you have time to pull in front of the vehicle before an oncoming car reaches you. If the driver in front speeds up to shut the gap, you could be left stranded in the wrong lane with no space to pull in and a vehicle heading straight for you.
- Driving too close behind you: The impatient driver sat on your wheel, revving their engine is dangerous. If you need to brake suddenly, they may rear-end you.
- Passing when it is unsafe: The vehicle behind is late, and they blame you for holding them up. If their anger gets the better of them, they may try to overtake when there is not enough space. If they collide with an oncoming vehicle, they may take you out as well.
Driving is challenging enough when you are calm and focused. However upset a driver is about something, it does not give them the right to express it through their driving. If they do, and they injure you in a crash, you need to hold them responsible for their actions.