If you spend any amount of time on the roads and highways in Texas – particularly near larger cities – you have probably witnessed aggressive driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that aggressive driving has become a serious problem on American roads and highways. Aggressive driving is defined by NHTSA as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property”.
Aggressive drivers are a major issue in Texas and across the country because their reckless and dangerous actions can lead to auto accidents that harm not only themselves but innocent victims. There are a number of efforts at the state and federal level aimed at addressing the problem of aggressive driving, and part of the effort is to educate the general public about the signs of aggressive driving and how to avoid provoking or becoming an aggressive driver.
How to spot aggressive drivers
Here are five signs of an aggressive driver:
- Drivers who speed. Excessive speed is one of the leading causes of car and truck accidents, and aggressive drivers often travel at speeds well above the posted limit.
- Drivers who disregard traffic signs and signals. Running red lights, ignoring stop signs, and disregarding lane markers are all leading causes of urban traffic crashes.
- Drivers who tailgate. Tailgating creates a serious hazard as it is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious injuries.
- Drivers who fail to use their turn signal and change lanes often and unpredictably. Frequent and unnecessary lane changes are dangerous because the odds of causing an accident go up with every lane change – especially if they are done in an unsafe manner.
- Drivers who use their horns or high-beams excessively. Impatient, aggressive drivers will often honk or flash their high-beams at other vehicles, creating a stressful and dangerous situation.
Don’t engage aggressive drivers
If you encounter an aggressive driver on the road, don’t react to his or her provocations. When it is safe, get out of their way and don’t try to follow them or take any action that might cause them to target you (i.e. don’t try to “teach them a lesson” or let them know you are angry at their behavior). Realize that you don’t know why the aggressive driver is behaving badly; it isn’t your fault and has nothing to do with you, so keep your focus on your own safety. In the event that an aggressive driver follows you, don’t go home – the best thing in this situation is to drive to a police station for help.
If you have been the victim of somebody else’s negligence in a Texas car or truck accident, please contact the Houston law offices of VB Attorneys for a free review and consultation of your case.