Driving Safety #3

Aggressive Drivers Cause Crashes

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, highway crashes continued as the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities during 1999, accounting for one-fourth of the fatal work injury total. The Department of Transportation estimates that aggressive driving causes two-thirds of traffic accidents. Of the187 million drivers in the U.S., 53 percent clearly expressed anger to another driver at least twice a year. If you have employees who spend time behind the wheel, they may be at risk of becoming an aggressive driver, or a victim of one.


Congestion is a leading cause of aggressive driving. Clogged highways, tight schedules, and no way out of a jam can turn mere irritation into physical violence. Some common behaviors of other drivers that may elicit anger in an aggressive driver include the following:

  • Tailgating, cutting off, failing to yield, or driving too fast or too slow.
  • Eating, applying makeup, or using a cell phone while driving.
  • Stealing a good parking spot.
  • Riding in the passing lane at a slower speed than traffic.

Some solutions

You and your driving employees can avoid becoming a victim of an aggressive driver by following a few tips:

  • Allow enough time for the trip—it’ll ease the risk of stress.
  • Don’t cut off another driver; use your turn signal to indicate your intentions.
  • Move over and let faster drivers pass you if you are in the left lane.
  • Do not tailgate; allow at least a two-second space between your car and the car ahead.
  • Do not make obscene gestures.
  • Give aggressive drivers room—steer clear of them.
  • Avoid eye contact with aggressive drivers.
  • Do not give in to the challenges of an aggressive driver, or allow yourself to become one.

Some employers have driving policies for their employees whose job involves driving. Some may include provisions for aggressive driving. A simple quiz may help those employees determine if they are aggressive drivers:

Answer the following questions with Never, Sometimes, Often, or Always.

Do you get angry…

  • When other drivers go too slow or too fast?
  • When you are cut off?
  • In traffic jams?
  • At tailgaters?

Do you get impatient…

  • At stoplights?
  • Waiting in lines (car wash, bank)?
  • When the car ahead of you slows down?
  • With pedestrians crossing the street?

Do you often…

  • Compete with other drivers?
  • Challenge other drivers?
  • Compete to amuse yourself?
  • Punish “bad” drivers?
  • Curse at or make obscene gestures at other drivers?
  • Block cars from trying to pass or change lanes?
  • Tailgate the car in front of you?
  • Seek a personal encounter with other drivers?

* Safety Starts At The Steering Wheel *