At one time or another, we've all gotten impatient while behind the
wheel. How motorists react to that feeling of impatience, however, could
directly impact their auto accident risks. Safety experts report that
aggressive driving is a national epidemic: in fact, aggressive driving
maneuvers - made by drivers of commercial trucks and of smaller vehicles
- are a common contributing factor in many Missouri
trucking accidents. That's why the
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and
Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) have targeted aggressive driving in a continuing effort to reduce these
Aggressive drivers in Missouri
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as when "an individual commits a combination
of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property."
Most people don't stop and think about how dangerous aggressive driving
is. With that in mind, consider the following questions about aggressive driving.
Are you an aggressive driver? A few warning signs
- Anger or frustration: Do you express your anger or frustration to other
- Failure to pay attention: Do you read, eat, drink, talk on the phone, or
text instead of focusing on safe driving techniques?
- Tailgating: Do you obey the 3-second rule? Tailgating is one of the most
dangerous aggressive driving habits and is a leading cause of accidents
involving large trucks.
- Frequent lane changes: Do you get frustrated or impatient and weave in
and out of traffic lanes, trying to get ahead? If you whip in and out
of lanes, you pose a large danger to yourself and other motorists. Sudden,
frequent lane changes are another leading cause of auto accidents: when
done with or around a commercial truck, the danger is greatly increased.
- Running red lights: Do you think you can make it? Do you tell yourself
everybody else does it? Are you running behind schedule and can't
wait another minute? Stop on a yellow/amber light. Anticipate light changes
ahead of time so you can slow down and stop. Many truck accidents occur
- Speeding: Do you drive faster than the posted speed limit? Are you trying
to race other motorists or driving faster than conditions allow? Are you
so frustrated you just have to "get past this traffic"? Vehicle
speed is a major factor in truck accident severity and a common contributor
in vehicle rollovers.
How to combat "road rage":
To avoid aggressive driving practices, you should plan ahead and be able
to recognize the warning signs.
- Allow yourself extra time. Leave early and plan your route so you don't
feel the pressure of the clock.
- Concentrate. Focus on the responsibility of driving, and be aware of the
vehicles you're sharing the road with. Don't allow yourself to
be distracted - by the phone, the radio, your dinner, or anything else
that takes your attention away from the road.
- Relax. If you find yourself becoming anxious, frustrated or angry, turn
your radio on to soothing music, or pull over and take a stretch brake,
if time allows.
- Drive the speed limit. Don't try to keep up with faster vehicles.
- Identify alternate routes. Stay abreast of traffic information for your
planned route. Check into alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion,
just in case.
- Just be late. Sometimes there is no alternative. It is better arrive late
than to be involved in a crash. Safety should be your top priority.
The personal injury lawyers at Aaron Sachs and Associates serve Missouri
auto accident victims statewide. To
contact our office, call 1-888-777-AUTO, or
click here to visit our website. Offices in Springfield, Joplin, Columbia and Cape Girardeau.
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