Aggressive driving can take many forms, but regardless of what the aggressive driver is doing, it’s dangerous. Aggressive driving is unfortunately common in the United States. In fact, in 2019, it was found that around 80% of drivers had at least one instance of anger, road rage or aggression while behind the wheel in the last 30 days.
This a serious cause for concern, which is why you need to talk to your child about it. Road rage, aggression and anger can make them violate traffic laws or make maneuvers that aren’t safe, so they should learn how to manage their emotions behind the wheel.
What is aggressive driving, really?
Aggressive driving is defined as any kind of unsafe driving behavior performed with a disregard for safety or with ill intent. There are several examples of aggressive driving that you might want to explain to your child, such as:
- Cutting off drivers who are trying to change lanes
- Using bright headlights to intentionally “blind” drivers
- Running red lights
- Weaving in and out of the lane
All of these behaviors have the potential to cause a serious automobile accident, which is why they’re against the law.
The statistics about aggressive driving are shocking
The United States has a problem with aggressive driving. Looking at just the 30 days before the AAA Foundation’s Annual Traffic Safety Culture Index survey, it could be seen that:
- 28% of people admitted to merging into traffic when another driver was trying to close the gap
- 34% of people admitted to speeding up instead of allowing someone to overtake them
- 48% of people admitted to traveling at 15 mph or more over the speed limit on a freeway
- 32% of people admitted to making rude gestures at other drivers or honking to get their attention out of anger
It’s possible to avoid this kind of aggression. Giving yourself enough time to get to the destination with delays, using turn signals and obeying traffic laws can all help prevent road rage and aggression. If someone is acting aggressive, remind your teen not to respond. They can allow them to pass or pull over to avoid a confrontation.