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AAA Foundation Study Finds Aggressive Behavior Prevalent among American Drivers

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It’s not uncommon to see drivers shouting at, tailgating, or gesturing rudely at other drivers. A recent study confirms that US drivers are much more likely than not to at least occasionally engage in aggressive driving behaviors, putting both themselves and others on the road at risk.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey of over 2,700 drivers across the country. The survey included questions about whether or not the participants had driven in a way that could be considered aggressive. These aggressive behaviors included: following another car closely in an attempt to get them to change lanes or speed up (tailgating), yelling at other drivers, honking at drivers out of anger and not as a warning, cutting off drivers deliberately, attempting to prevent a driver from changing lanes, confronting another driver after getting out of the car, and deliberately bumping or hitting another car. Nearly 80% of respondents admitted to at least one incident of aggressive driving in the previous year, while 51% admitted to tailgating, 12% to cutting off another driver on purpose, 4% to getting out of their car to confront another driver, and 3% to intentionally hitting another driver’s car.

The Federal Highway Administration reports that there are roughly 214 million licensed drivers nationwide. Based on that fact, the AAA Foundation extrapolated from its findings to estimate that approximately 5.7 million drivers in the US have intentionally rammed or bumped other cars on the road in an act of aggression in the past year. Likewise, the Foundation estimates that over the course of the past year, 7.6 million drivers have left their cars to confront another driver.

Aggressive driving behaviors aren’t just impolite or uncivil; they can result in serious accidents. Research has found that, in 56% of accidents resulting in a fatality, witnesses reported that at least one of the drivers involved exhibited some form of aggressive behavior prior to the crash. “It’s completely normal for drivers to experience anger behind the wheel, but we must not let our emotions lead to destructive choices,” said Rolayne Fairclough, a AAA representative. “Don’t risk escalating a frustrating situation because you never know what the other driver might do. Maintain a cool head, and focus on reaching your destination safely.” AAA recommends that drivers follow three principles while on the road: don’t offend, be tolerant, and don’t respond to others’ anger.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident with a negligent, reckless, or aggressive driver in Virginia, seek the compensation you’re owed for your injuries by contacting the knowledgeable, compassionate, and trial-ready Charlottesville personal injury attorneys at Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz for a consultation on your case, at 434-977-7977.

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