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Aggressive Driving
  Aggressive Drivers

Here's what we know of them, so far:

  • These high risk drivers climb into the anonymity of an automobile and take out their frustrations on anybody at any time.


  • For them, frustration levels are high, and level of concern for fellow motorists is low.


  • They run stop signs and red lights, speed, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, pass on the right, make improper and unsafe lane changes, make hand and facial gestures, scream, honk, and flash their lights.


  • They drive at speeds far in excess of the norm which causes them to: follow too closely, change lanes frequently and abruptly without notice (signals), pass on the shoulder or unpaved portions of the roadway, and leer at and/or threaten - verbally or through gestures - motorists who are thoughtless enough to be in front of them.




  • First and foremost make every attempt to get out of their way.


  • Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.


  • Wear your seat belt. It will it hold you in your seat and behind the wheel in case you need to make an abrupt driving maneuver and it will protect you in a crash.


  • Avoid eye contact.


  • Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.


  • Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities by providing a vehicle description, license number, location, and if possible, direction of travel.


  • If you have a "Cell" phone, and can do it safely, call the police -- many have special numbers (e.g. 9-1-1 or #77).


  • If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive and report the driving behavior that you witnessed.


Remember how to Deal with Aggressive Drivers.
Avoid the challenges or confrontations of an aggressive driver and support law enforcement's efforts to rid the streets and highways of this menace.

NHTSA logo



Aggressive Driving:
Help Get the Word Out...
Table of Contents
Business Reply Card
Air Bag Success Stories
Rescue Procedures for Air Bag-Equipped Vehicles
Public Info. & Edu.
    Phone Numbers
    Crime/Crash Clock 1996
    Side Air Bags in '98 Veh.
    Coping With Congestion
    The Older Driver
    Logo Sheets
    More Information
    Streamlined Planners
    Contact List
Introduction to Planner for Law Enforcement
Law Enforcement Tools
    Pursuit Policy
    Detecting DWI
    Sobriety Checkpoints
    Susp./Revoked Licenses
    Enforcement Technology
    Enforcement Training
    Enforcement Speaks Out
Law Enforcement Unifies to Buckle Up America!
Best Practices for Underage Drinking Prevention
Police Traffic Services in the 21st Century
Aggressive Driving
    Driver Programs
    Get the Word Out
    Battling at the Grassroots
It does not take long to find examples of aggressive driving on our roadways. Most of us see it every day – the road racer, the distracter, the tailgater, the frequent lane changer, the red light runner. The atmosphere created by aggressive drivers is scary.

Aggressive Driving Is All Around Us
We have all seen aggressive drivers who carelessly:

Express frustration. Drivers climb into the anonymity of an automobile and take out their frustrations on anybody at any time. Their emotions are high, and the concern for fellow motorists is low.

Lack attention to driving. Distractions from driving are a major cause of roadway crashes. Motorists are often seen eating, drinking, primping – yes, even shaving – as they drive. Some drivers make their automobiles a “home away from home,” with fax machines and laptop computers.

Tailgate. Tailgating creates a serious hazard. It is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious injuries.

Make frequent, unnecessary lane changes. Drivers who whip in and out of lanes merely to advance one car length ahead are a danger to other motorists.

Rubberneck. Slowing down to look at an incident is a natural human reaction. But this behavior slows traffic, causes congestion, and may lead to another car crash.

Run red lights. Disregarding traffic controls is a leading cause of urban crashes.

Speed. Going faster than the posted speed limit, being a “road racer,” going too fast for conditions, and weaving in and out of traffic are some examples of speeding.

Help Get the Word Out to Others
Discuss aggressive driving with members of your family, friends, individuals, and community groups. This is how you can help:

Give everyone an opportunity to take the test. We all need to look at ourselves to see if we are contributors to the atmosphere. Ask about driving habits everyone is performing well and others that need to be improved.

Realize that traffic crashes are caused by the way we drive. Motor vehicle crashes are not inevitable, they are avoidable.

Reduce your stress when you drive. Allow plenty of time for the trip, listen to soothing music, improve the comfort in your vehicle, and understand that you cannot control the traffic, only your reaction to it. In the end, we may very well discover that personal frustration, anger, and impatience may be the most dangerous “drugs” on the highway.

Assume other drivers’ mistakes are not personal. Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver is not. Avoid all conflict if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath, and move out of the way. Never underestimate the other driver’s capacity for mayhem.

Report aggressive drivers. Some states have a cellular telephone number that motorists can use to report dangerous driving to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If you have a cellular telephone in your vehicle, keep the number handy. Then, when you see a driver operating a vehicle in a threatening manner, you or a passenger should make the call in a safe manner. Make sure you give a vehicle description, license number, the location, and direction of travel. You could prevent a tragedy.

Be a courteous driver yourself. Everyone has the power to set an example, and this will help make our roadways safer. Use that power.