There is a big difference between aggressive driving and defensive driving. Defensive driving involves carefully monitoring your surroundings and making driving decisions based on the behavior of other nearby vehicles.
Aggressive driving involves people making violent and unpredictable maneuvers. Unlike defensive driving, aggressive driving often involves someone ignoring traffic rules or the risks associated with their driving habits.
Many forms of aggressive driving are dangerous and can easily lead to a car crash. If you know how to identify aggressive driving and how common it is, it will be easier to respond to or avoid an aggressive driver on public roads.
How common is aggressive driving?
Aggressive drivers are everywhere. According to an analysis by the Insurance Information Institute, aggressive driving could play a role in more than half of all fatal crashes. There are many kinds of aggressive driving, including:
- excessive speeding
- making illegal turns
- failure to follow traffic signs or lights
- failure to yield the right-of-way
- aggressive passing or lane-changing
- driving on a shoulder, median, ditch or sidewalk
- driving behaviors stemming from road rage
Any unnecessarily abrupt or violent maneuver might qualify as aggressive driving. Of all of these questionable driving practices, speeding is responsible for the highest number of crashes. Of course, any of them could lead to a preventable collision that causes property damage, serious injury or even death.
You can hold aggressive drivers responsible
Many of the behaviors that constitute aggressive driving are obvious traffic violations. No matter how careful of a driver you are, you may not be able to completely protect yourself from other people’s bad decisions on the road.
If you identify the signs of aggressive driving, it can help if that person causes a crash. You can tell the police officer taking your report about the behavior of the other driver before the crash. They can then talk to witnesses or even check traffic and security camera footage for evidence of your claims.
When a police report reflects aggressive driving techniques, it will be more straightforward for the other driver to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Knowing how to spot aggressive drivers could help you avoid a crash or stand up for yourself if one causes a collision that hurts you.