According to data gathered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA), male motorists exhibit more aggressive behaviors, including speeding, tailgating, honking, and making rude gestures. The women who participated in the AAA survey also admitted to aggressive driving tactics, but in lower numbers. One exception was for running red lights, a category where women and men were nearly equal. Around 30 percent of the drivers of both genders broke this traffic law.
Speeding the Most Common Driver Error
The most common aggressive driving behavior committed by the drivers was speeding over 15 miles per hour on a freeway. Out of the men, 52 percent confessed to speeding more 15 miles per hour on a freeway, compared to 45 percent of the surveyed women.
The next most common offense was tailgating. Specifically, tailgating with the purpose of preventing another car from merging. Almost 38 percent of the men said they had tailgated versus 29 percent of the women.
When it came to rude gestures, just over one-third of men in the survey confessed to making rude gestures to other drivers, whereas only 28 percent of the women felt it was necessary. The AAA has also determined that younger drivers of both sexes are more aggressive than their older counterparts and that 79 percent of all drivers in the United States, regardless of gender, drive aggressively when they hit the road.
Why is Speeding so Dangerous?
Speeding is a top cause of motor vehicle accidents. A vehicle traveling 65 miles per hour for five miles on a road that has a 45 mile per hour posted speed limit saves only 1.9 minutes. However, a car that is speeding needs more time and distance to come to a full stop and has less time to react to an unexpected obstacle in the road. When a speeding car crashes, the impact is greater, which increases the likelihood of more severe injuries or death.
What Should I Do if I Encounter an Aggressive Driver?
If you see another driver exhibiting the behaviors described in the AAA survey, you should steer clear of them. The worst thing you can do is engage with that kind of driver. Do not speed up or down, gesture back, or try to keep them from cutting into your lane. Never look an aggressive driver in the eye, as this could escalate the situation and quickly turn it into an even more dangerous case of road rage. Try to move out of the driver’s way and let them pass you. If necessary, pull off the road onto the shoulder.
If you start to become aggravated by an aggressive driver, it is important to take a deep breath and remember that the other person may be having a bad day. Instead of getting angry with the other motorist, slow down, drive defensively, and concentrate on staying safe. Some important defensive driving safety tips include:
- Follow the posted speed limits.
- Maintain an adequate following distance.
- Use turn signals.
- Allow others to merge.
- Use your high beams responsibly.
- Be considerate in parking lots. Park in one spot, not across multiple spaces.
If an aggressive driver is seriously endangering others on the road, try to note the make and model of the vehicle as well as the license plate. Have a passenger relay the information to the police or pull over to make the call yourself. Let law enforcement deal with truly aggressive drivers, and do not attempt to remedy the situation alone.
What Should I Do After an Accident with an Aggressive Driver?
If it is impossible to avoid a collision with an aggressive driver, stay calm and stay in your car. Never leave the scene of an accident. Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries, and then call 911 for emergency help. Turn on your emergency flashers, and wait for law enforcement to arrive before exiting your vehicle. An exception to this is if the vehicle needs to be moved out of the direct path of traffic.
When the officer arrives, tell them exactly what happened without embellishing or speculating on the facts. Besides exchanging insurance and contact information with the other driver, also collect the information of anybody who witnessed the accident in case you need to contact them in the future. Document what happened as much as possible by taking photographs or videos of the accident scene, including damage to the vehicles, skids marks on the ground, weather conditions, and any injuries suffered by the vehicle occupants.
See a medical professional after being involved in any type of car accident, even if you are not sure if you are injured. A doctor may be able to diagnose a hidden injury. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), may not show up until later or may worsen over time. If you do not get medical attention at the scene of the accident, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
It is also best to have yourself checked immediately after an accident for legal reasons. If you delay getting care and then later want to file a claim for your injuries, the insurance company will likely try to deny your claim by saying you did not need to be treated after the accident; therefore, you had no serious injuries.
Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Advocate for Clients Injured in Aggressive Driving Accidents
Aggressive drivers are a threat to everyone on the road around them. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident that was caused by an aggressive driver, you may need legal help. Our experienced Pittsburgh car accident lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. will fight on your behalf and help you build the strongest case that is possible. For more information and to schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us at 412-765-1888 or complete our online form. We are conveniently located in Pittsburgh, and we proudly serve clients throughout Western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.