Aggressive drivers in St. Louis are one of the top causes of accidents and conflict in traffic, and it doesn’t take a long time to spot one when you’re driving.
Aggressive driving can be defined as operating a motor vehicle in a way that increases the risk of an accident. One who drives in such a way not only puts themselves in danger, but also risks the safety of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration includes the following actions in their list of aggressive driving behaviors and actions:
- Speeding: exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions
- Changing lanes excessively without reasonable cause
- Improper passing: failing to signal before passing, passing on the shoulder of the road, or cutting into another car’s path
- Tailgating: driving too closely behind another vehicle
Road rage is quite common everywhere around the world, especially in urban areas with lots of traffic, where people are in a hurry to get to work and find themselves stuck in traffic jams.
It is the responsibility of every licensed driver to avoid driving aggressively. Statistics show that driving in such a way significantly increases the chances of a car accident.
Since you can’t always avoid stressful situations on the road, all you need to focus on is how you react to them and how you handle other drivers’ aggressiveness. Here are some tips to help you.
Stay Calm and Minimize Your Reaction
Keeping calm is the key to minimizing traffic conflicts that spark out of road rage. Even if it’s hard for you as well to be in a traffic jam, responding aggressively to rude drivers can and will bring more problems for both of you. Keep calm and remember that safety is the most important.
Follow the Rules of the Road and Drive Preventively
Even if you are already practicing preventive driving when dealing with aggressive drivers you need to be extra careful and predict their next move. Try to keep your distance as much as you can, reduce speed and be aware of your surroundings.
Pull Over If They Are Trying to Push You
Sometimes, other drivers might try to force to make certain moves, for example, to move out of their way. While this was may not be your plan or intention, it’s often easier to just let them through and get out of contact as soon as you can. Be sure to do that only when it doesn’t impose a danger on yourself or third parties.
Call 911 If the Situation Escalates
In busy traffic, when emotions start getting out of control, it’s easy to get hurt by angry drivers. If you notice that an aggressive person keeps on harassing you, makes threats or even touches you, call 911 and report this behavior. You might prevent something worse
Evaluate the Circumstances
Sometimes, a driver who seems aggressive simply has a certain set of justifying circumstances, like the classic “we’re having a baby right now” drive. Be mindful about what the other driver may go through and don’t always suppose they’re just being rude and intimidating.
FAQs About Aggressive Driving
Why Do People Drive Aggressively?
There is no single answer to this question, as the reasons for aggressive driving vary from person to person. In some cases, it may simply be a matter of impatience or frustration with the flow of traffic. In other cases, aggressive driving may simply be a matter of habit; someone who is used to driving fast and taking risks may not even realize that they’re being aggressive. Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol may also be more likely to engage in aggressive driving. Whatever the reason, aggressive driving is dangerous and should be avoided.
Is There a Difference Between Aggressive Driving and Road Rage?
It’s not uncommon to hear people use “aggressive driving” and “road rage” interchangeably. While they are both dangerous and can lead to accidents, there is a difference between the two. Aggressive driving is a pattern of reckless behavior that often results from impatience or frustration on the road. Road rage, on the other hand, is characterized by an extreme level of anger and violence. Aggressive driving can escalate into road rage, but the two are not necessarily the same.
“What Should I Do if I See Someone Driving Aggressively?”
If you see someone driving aggressively, the best thing to do is to avoid them, if possible. You should not attempt to confront the driver or try to stop them.
You may also decide to contact the police and report the driver – this could help to prevent an accident or injuries.
What Is Missouri Doing to Prevent Aggressive Driving?
Missouri, like other states, has enacted several laws making it a crime to drive aggressively. Offenders can face stiff penalties, including jail time. In addition to passing laws against aggressive driving, Missouri has also stepped up enforcement efforts. The state highway patrol has increased its presence on highways. In addition, the state has implemented several public awareness campaigns aimed at reducing dangerous driving behaviors.
Injured in a St. Louis Car Accident With an Aggressive Driver?
By keeping some of these things in mind, you can avoid conflicts and aggression towards you in traffic. Remember, driving with confidence doesn’t mean bullying other drivers into making space for you, yelling or honking for no reason. Aggressive drivers need to be dealt with by keeping your calm and being reliable yourself.
If you’ve been hit and hurt by an aggressive driver, you have a legal right to seek compensation. A St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you file a claim and build your case.
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free, and you don’t pay unless we get you money!