Aggressive Driving

Your page rank:

Total word count: 3632
Pages: 13

Calculate the Price

- -
275 words
Looking for Expert Opinion?
Let us have a look at your work and suggest how to improve it!
Get a Consultant

What is Aggressive Driving?

The definitions of aggressive driving and road rage are as follows: At least two of the following: speeding, unsafe or improper lane change, following too closely, failure to yield right of way, improper passing, failure to obey traffic control devices. The commission of two or more moving violations that is likely to endanger other persons or property, or any single intentional violation that requires a defensive reaction of another driver. Aggressive driving is defined as "the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property."

Aggressive Driving:

Aggressive driving can be caused by long commutes, traffic congestion, and other drivers’ behaviors. It can also be caused by your mood, reactions, and ability to deal with stress on and off the road. Examples of aggressive driving behaviors are excessive speed, frequent or unsafe lane changes, failure to signal, and tailgating. Aggressive driving can lead to road rage.

What is the difference between aggressive driving and road rage?

When a driver displays any kind of aggression, this is aggressive driving. Frequently, it is used to describe physical assault as a result from disagreements between drivers. A traffic offense or combination of offenses such as speeding, failing to signal intent to change lanes, following too closely, and other forms of negligent or inconsiderate driving is aggressive driving. The common cause of the aggressive driver is traffic congestion with a tough schedule. This driver generally commits several violations in order to make up time. These actions put us at risk. Example- an aggressive driver who uses a roadway shoulder to pass, may cause other drivers to take an evasive action that results in a crash or taking more risks themselves. Then, the offending aggressive driver continues on his way, may be not even realizing what he caused. A major contributor to road congestion is rush hour crashes which are frequently caused by aggressive drivers. There are more vehicles on the road and the number of vehicle miles driven each year has increased. People are busy, time is at a premium and frustration is a result of road congestion.

Road rage:

This term has probably been started by the media. This is a criminal offense. When a traffic incident escalates into a serious situation, this occurs. Example- A person reacting angrily over an aggressive driving incident may retaliate with some kind of violence. These acts may range from a physical confrontation to an assault with a motor vehicle or maybe a weapon. Frequently, the incident may have been simple or trivial. Some incidents are intentional acts but not all of them. An intentional act is when a motorist changes from lane to lane to go around other vehicles. An unintentional act is when a motorist abruptly exits from a roadway without proper signaling. It is an incident in which an angry or impatient motorist or passenger intentionally injures or kills or attempts to injure or kill another motorist, passenger, or pedestrian, in response to a traffic dispute, altercation, or grievance. Hopefully, you will never allow your stress or emotional distress rise to the level of aggressive driving and certainly not to road rage. There are ways to manage your stress so that you do not endanger yourself or others on the road. Road Rage is an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapons by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle, caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway.

Aggressive driving

Aggressive driving is a traffic offense; road rage is a criminal offense.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle in a dangerous and negligent manner. Driving recklessly is a misdemeanor criminal offense that is punishable by high fines and/or imprisonment and the suspension or revocation of one’s driver’s license. Reckless driving can happen when an individual’s mental state leads him/her to behave and operate his/her automobile in an irresponsible manner. Even though a driver may be behaving normally and is not in a reckless mental state, if he or she is driving in a way that is unlawful, it can still be considered reckless driving. Driving reckless often refers exclusively to excessive speeding violations. In many jurisdictions, driving more than 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit is considered reckless driving. This means that even if a driver is driving straight, using the turn signal, and yielding to traffic, he or she can be pulled over and charged with reckless driving. Reckless drivers are likely to change lanes frequently, speed, tailgate, and swerve. Studies have shown that reckless drivers are more likely to play music at a level that is audible to other drivers and will use their horns to move other drivers out of the way more often than non-reckless drivers. You can protect yourself against the threat of reckless drivers in a number of ways. Law enforcers suggest driving in the lane farthest away from the driver in question and reducing your speed so that the driver may pass you. If the driver’s recklessness is extreme, pull over until they have passed and alert law enforcement.

Florida Traffic Laws: Careless and Reckless Driving Citations

Careless driving and reckless driving are two very similar traffic violations that occur on Florida state roadways. Both infractions indicate that a vehicle is being operated in an irresponsible fashion that could potentially cause harm to others. They diverge, however, because careless driving encompasses drivers who appear to be unaware of their bad driving, and reckless driving indicates that the motor vehicle operator is willfully acting to drive in such a manner as to cause damage to property, physical injury or death. Both tickets can be issued in addition to other infractions such as speeding or traffic light violations, and unfortunately, these are common charges against drivers whose actions cannot be easily categorized into another existing Florida statute.

What are the causes of aggressive driving?

The mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland said, "I’m late I’m late for a very important date no time to say hello goodbye I’m Late I’m Late I’m late". In today’s society this is an understatement. Our lifestyle is moving at a very fast pace. Everyone is in a rush to get where they are going. Even the slightest delay can cause us to behave in an aggressive manner. When driving on the road with commuter traffic and you are running late, the vehicles on the road become obstacles that you must overcome to reach your destination. Sharing the road with other vehicles is now obsolete. Getting to your destination is now your objective and sharing the road is now putting you in jeopardy. When you drive aggressively, many factors are taking place psychologically and are usually difficult to control. Many drivers are naturally prone to territoriality and tend to think that they own the space they are in. The person that is driving may feel threatened by another vehicle entering their domain and may respond aggressively or out of an instinct of self-protection. When behind the wheel of a vehicle, some people become a "Jekyll and Hyde". They suddenly develop a power that is never shown at home or a work. Normal courtesy and sharing the road become a thing of the past and aggressiveness takes its place. In aggressive driving, man’s competitive instinct can become a factor in driving. An aggressive driver will respond to being overtaken by another vehicle as a challenge. In a situation like this, it will often lead to showing off and racing on the roadway. Each driver will race and take risks overtaking maneuvers to get where they are going first. However, the driver doesn’t realize the dangers to themselves and others on the road. Only the thrill of victory in a make believe competitive race and getting there first is what’s on your mind. More serious is the driver that will threaten or punish another driver for a driving behavior which displeases him. Example: The driver is driving too slow, fails to signal and accidently cuts you off. An aggressive driver will retaliate. He may tailgate the other driver, brake suddenly, block the passing lane, using headlights, and shouting or making obscene gestures to the other driver. If both drivers experience aggressive behavior, it can often lead to the death of another driver. All these behaviors are exacerbated by the stress and pressures of the fast moving pass of today’s society. Traffic on the road, road congestion and road construction will lead to a feeling of frustration and may lead to aggressive driving. The aggressive driver lacks the respect of other drivers. They will use the shoulder of the road to pass, change lanes without signaling and prevent other vehicles from entering their lane of traffic. An aggressive driver will show his anger at a slow moving driver or if he feels a traffic light is taking too long to change.

What are the causes of aggressive driving? (2)

People who are experiencing aggressive/emotional or angry feelings before getting into their car are more likely to continue this behavior behind the wheel. Moreover, the use of alcohol and drugs may also increase the likelihood of aggressive driving.

Persons doing any of the following may be committing acts of aggressive driving:

Speeding Running red lights and/or stop signs Tailgating Passing on the shoulder of the road Cutting off another vehicle Slamming on brakes in front of a tailgater Improper hand or facial gestures at other drivers Yelling or swearing at other drivers Repeatedly honking the horn Repeatedly flashing headlights Excessive lane changing – changing lanes without reasonable cause Improper passing – failing to signal intent, using an emergency lane to pass, or passing on the shoulder


Other drivers are irritated by offensive and obscene gestures. Misinterpretation of a gesture by another driver could happen. Car phones- Your phone could become a distraction. People who use car phones are looked upon as poor drivers and present a traffic hazard. Motorists who are talking on the phone can irritate aggressive drivers. Displays- Do not display a slogan or bumper sticker that may be considered offensive.

Eye Contact:

o not make eye contact if a motorist tries to pick a fight. Do not acknowledge the other motorist and get out of the way. Do not go home if a driver follows you. Go to a location like a police station to get help. Aggressive tailgating- Riding the bumper of a vehicle in front of you is unsafe and annoying. Aggressive horn use- It is illegal to lean on a horn if you are angry. Aggressive headlight use- It is rude and unsafe to flash headlights if irritated.

Lane blocking:

On multiple lane highways, do not block the passing lane. Vehicles should be able to pass you. Tailgating- There should be a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Signal use- Change lanes using your signal and make sure you do not cut off another driver when changing lanes. Remember to turn your signal off after changing lanes or turning. Horn use- Use the horn sparingly. Noise contributes to stress. If you are not making a right turn, avoid the right lane.


Do not take up more than one parking space. If you park in a space reserved for the disabled, you must be disabled. Be careful when opening your car door and do not hit the car next to you. Do not tap the vehicles in front or in back of yours when parallel parking. Be cautious when backing out of a parking space.

Backing Up:

Always check behind your car. Pedestrians and small children can be hidden from your view. Use your outside mirrors to help your vision. Do not back into busy streets, highways and pedestrian crosswalks. Keep your foot firmly on the brake before shifting into reverse. Back up slowly. When backing up, look over each shoulder to view out the rear windows. Use your outside mirrors to help your vision.

Headlight use:

Headlights should be kept on low beam except if lighting is poor. If you are approaching a vehicle from the rear, or when another vehicle is passing you, dim your high beams for oncoming traffic. Merging- Move out of the right hand acceleration lane of a highway when traffic allows to permit vehicles easier access from on-ramps. Blocking traffic- When driving a slow moving vehicle, when possible, pull over to permit traffic to pass you.

The Speed Factor

Speed is a primary factor in aggressive driving behavior – and also a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes. The probability of death and debilitating injury grows with impacts at higher speeds – doubling for every 10 mph over 50 mph that a vehicle travels. The Federal Highway Administration found that, on average, 70 percent of motorists exceed the posted speed limits. Speeding is a habitual driver behavior. Although drivers name speeding as dangerous to their safety, most still speed.

Driving slowly in the left lane:

If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them pass. You may be "in the right" because you are traveling at the speed limit, but you may also be putting yourself in danger by making drivers behind you angry. In many states and provinces, the law requires you to travel in the right lane and use the far left lane only for passing. Be courteous and move over and let the other drivers pass.

Excessive lane changing:

When you are driving on the road many situations will arise that force you to need to switch lanes. This can include a driver that is going too slow, the need to move over to turn on a street, or lane changing in order to avoid an object on the road. When you do change lanes, it is important that you look around to make sure you can do it safely. You should put on your blinker as well to notify other drivers that you are changing lanes. While driving on the road, changing lanes too often can become dangerous. Some drivers may change lanes incessantly while on the freeway, weaving in and out of cars in an effort to get to their destination faster. Changing lanes too often may cause the driver to fail to properly check his or her lane and a collision may occur. Lane changing should be done at the discretion of the driver. If an officer believes that you have changed lanes too often without need, you can be issued a traffic citation.

Cutting off a driver:

When you merge, make sure you have enough room. Use your turn signal to show your intentions before making a move. If you make a mistake and cut off, another driver, try to apologize to the other driver with an appropriate gesture. If another driver cuts you off, slow down and give them room to merge into your lane.

Improper lane changes:

A driver changes lanes without there being a clear open path. This citation can be issued by law enforcement as an action that leads to an accident or in situations where no accident has occurred at all. No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, unless authorized by the provisions of this chapter and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead. In every event, the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle. No vehicle shall be driven from a direct course in any lane on any highway until the driver has determined that the vehicle is not being approached or passed by any other vehicle in the lane or on the side to which the driver desires to move. It needs to be completely made with safety and without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the same direction.


Following a vehicle too closely is called "tailgating". Tailgating is an aggressive driving behavior that is easily mistaken for road rage. Tailgating is dangerous not just because it is a leading cause of road rage, but also because it impairs both drivers’ ability to safely react to other hazards on the road. A good driver must leave a safe gap between their vehicle and the one in front of them. This safe gap is eliminated when tailgating occurs; meaning that if the car in front was forced to suddenly apply their breaks, a collision would most likely occur. It seems as if everyone is in a hurry and they may not even realize they are engaging in the dangerous behavior of tailgating. However, tailgating, whether done intentionally or unintentionally, increases a person’s risk of being in a car collision.

Following too closely contributes to approximately one third of all Florida motor vehicle collisions. The reason why tailgating is so dangerous is that it reduces:

Reaction time: The driver of the second vehicle will have a reduced reaction time. Vision: The driver of the following car will not be able to see what is ahead of the first car when following too closely. Stopping time: When tailgating, the vehicle in the rear may not have enough time to come to a complete stop without hitting the vehicle ahead. Tailgating is the practice of driving on a road too close to a frontward vehicle, at a distance which does not guarantee that stopping to avoid collision is possible. It is driving so closely behind another vehicle, that one cannot stop or swerve with ease in an emergency.

What is an appropriate driver attitude?

Always be a courteous driver and remember that even the best drivers sometimes make mistakes. An appropriate attitude is being knowledgeable and following the rules of the road. It is avoiding risks, distractions and stress. It is keeping your vehicle maintained. It is learning how to handle difficult driving situations.

Dealing with emotional distress

As a driver, you must learn to deal with everyday stress that can affect your driving skills. Try to avoid driving if you’re very upset. Rush-hour traffic, collisions, running late for work, money and family problems, stress on the job, or countless other problems, can affect your ability to drive a vehicle in a safe manner. Always know your routes and exits before going on a trip; getting lost can add to your stress while driving. Plan your trip; avoid rush hour traffic when possible. Make sure that your vehicle is properly maintained with a clean windshield. Be comfortably seated and use air-conditioning if necessary. If you encounter a problem on the road, such as an aggressive driver, think before you take any action. Count to ten or listen to soft music to calm yourself down. Do not make obscene gestures if you do not like the way another person is driving. Do not stop to confront another driver; stay in your vehicle. If another motorist is harassing you, try to drive away.

Avoid aggressive drivers.

Aggressive driving is a serious problem which is responsible for many traffic accidents and fatalities. It is to your benefit to avoid aggressive drivers and potentially dangerous situations. If you encounter an angry or aggressive motorist: Do not retaliate or in any way engage the other driver. Get out of the way. Do not make eye contact. Keep your doors locked and your windows up. Keep enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you to pull out from behind. Do not underestimate the other driver’s potential for aggression. 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. 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. When entering traffic or changing lanes, make sure that you have enough room. Make sure you have established a safe following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Don’t make aggressive hand gestures to the other drivers when they offend you with their driving. Signal when turning or changing lanes. Control your anger; remember it takes two to start a fight. Avoid prolonged eye contact with the bad or angry driver. Get help. Call police on your cell phone or go to a public telephone or place. Don’t pull to the side of the road. Forget about winning. No one wins in a highway crash. Put yourself in the other driver’s shoes. They may be driving that way because of an actual emergency! Anyone can become an aggressive driver. Don’t let stress and frustration get the best of you while driving. Be patient and courteous. Do not drive when angry, overtired, or upset. Allow extra time to get to your destination. When possible, change your schedule to avoid congestion. Listen to relaxing music or books on tape. Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt – all drivers make mistakes. Avoid all conflict, even if you are in the right.

Share This

More flashcards like this

NCLEX 10000 Integumentary Disorders

When assessing a client with partial-thickness burns over 60% of the body, which finding should the nurse report immediately? a) ...

Read more


A client with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) tells the nurse, "Sometimes I feel so frustrated. I can’t do anything without ...

Read more

NASM Flashcards

Which of the following is the process of getting oxygen from the environment to the tissues of the body? Diffusion ...

Read more

Unfinished tasks keep piling up?

Let us complete them for you. Quickly and professionally.

Check Price

Successful message