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NHTSA Offers Tips on How to Deal With Aggressive Drivers

Aggressive driving is nothing new to our way of life. And, as automobiles speeds increase and traffic congestion problems mount, the problem is only bound to get worse. Luckily, the National Highway Traffic Safety Board (NHTSB) is offering tips consumers can utilize when they encounter aggressive drivers.

Most Americans, if asked, would be able to point out aggressive drivers they see on the roadways. However, the NHTSA has specifically defined the act of aggressive driving as when "an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property."

But, there are ways to decrease the potential for auto accidents and collisions that occur as a result of aggressive driving. When encountering aggressive drivers, the NHTSA recommends:

  • Getting out of the way. Whatever the cause of the aggressiveness of other drivers, it's best to get out of their way by slowing down or switching lanes.
  • Putting Pride Aside. Many people who encounter drivers with an ego have the urge to demonstrate to them that their behavior will not be tolerated. However, the NHTSB recommends drivers avoid the challenge to speed up or "hold your own" in your travel lane.
  • Avoiding Eye Contact. Aggressive drivers, most likely, want other drivers to acknowledge their behavior; eye contact is the primary means to do this. But, eye contact will only reinforce their behavior and potentially enrage them even more.
  • Ignoring Gestures. Many aggressive drivers show their anger by using derogatory or insulting hand or finger gestures. Many do it in an attempt to get other drivers to engage in the situation. Ignoring these types of gestures will help to reduce the likelihood of continued confrontation.
  • Reporting Serious Aggressive Driving. The NHTSA recommends drivers who witness particularly dangerous aggressive driving, contact the police. However, drivers are encouraged to pull over before making a call on their mobile device to report the situation.


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