Aggressive driving a key factor in fatal crashes, report says

As many as 56 percent of deadly vehicle crashes involve one or more unsafe driving behaviors typically associated with aggressive driving, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows speeding is the most common contributing factor and is involved in nearly one in three deadly crashes.

Aggressive driving is one of America’s main traffic safety worries. Last year’s AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, a nationally-representative telephone survey, found nearly eight out of every 10 people surveyed rated aggressive drivers as a serious or extremely serious traffic safety problem. However, in the same survey, many individuals reported driving in ways that could be deemed aggressive. For example, nearly half of drivers reported exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph on major highways in the past 30 days, and 15 percent even admitted exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph on neighborhood streets. This reflects the “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” attitude society has toward traffic safety.

“It’s easy to think ‘that other guy is the problem’ – the one who runs someone off the road, tailgates, or yells obscenities,” said Martha M. Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “In reality, examples of driving aggressively – any of which can lead to crashes, injuries and deaths – are all too common.”

Such examples of aggressive driving include running stop signs or red lights; preventing other drivers from passing; speeding; illegal driving on the shoulder, ditch or median; and failing to yield. The goal in releasing these findings is to educate motorists about the scope of aggressive driving as well as encourage motorists to reevaluate their own driving behavior, and ultimately to improve this country’s traffic safety culture.

“If you find yourself driving slowly in the passing lane, tailgating, or doing other things to teach the other driver a lesson, you are also part of the problem,” said Meade. “An aggressive driving act by one driver can trigger a disproportionate and potentially violent reaction from another driver.”

For more information or to see the full report, visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

 

– News Release


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