You can’t spend very much time on the road without encountering an aggressive driver. In fact, 82% of U.S. drivers are willing to admit that they’ve engaged in some form of hostile behavior behind the wheel within the last year (and even more may simply be reluctant to admit it).
Aggressive driving includes things like speeding, weaving between vehicles across different lanes, blowing on the horn or making rude gestures to other drivers and ignoring traffic signals. Naturally, aggressive driving can lead to all kinds of accidents, so why do people do it? Here are some of the most common reasons:
When drivers see another vehicle, they tend to see the vehicle – not the human behind the wheel. That psychological step back can make them more prone to treat other cars as “things,” instead of using the courtesy they’d normally accord another.
If you’ve ever found it impossible not to slam a door when you’re angry, you can probably empathize with drivers who let their emotions influence their driving style. If someone is angry, upset, frustrated or scared, they may drive more aggressively in reflex.
Someone who is late for work or to pick up their children may consciously or unconsciously try to “push” every driver ahead of them to hurry along – even if it doesn’t really accomplish anything. That translates into tailgating, which is a form of aggressive driving. It’s no accident that traffic delays are heavily associated with upticks in aggressive behavior on the road.
Some people simply pride themselves on being “fearless” behind the wheel, and they may just “push the envelope” out of habit. Others simply don’t have a lot of regard for other drivers or traffic rules.
Intoxication lowers inhibitions, and that can cause a driver to take chances or engage in behavior that’s normally atypical.
Regardless of why it happens, aggressive driving can be negligent or even reckless. If you’ve been injured in a wreck with an aggressive driver, you have every right to pursue fair compensation for your losses.