Aggressive driving is a surprisingly widespread problem on New York’s roads. Aggressive drivers engage in deliberately dangerous driving habits that endanger themselves and everyone around them. Your best chance of avoiding an accident involving one of these people is identifying these drivers and giving them a wide berth. Here are five warning signs of aggressive drivers:
- Excessive speeding
- Despite being a violation of traffic laws, speeding is sadly a common occurrence among drivers, especially on the highway. However, even most commuters will try to stay with the flow of traffic whenever possible, never going faster than is necessary to keep up with other vehicles on the road. Aggressive drivers have no such compunctions, and will gladly go ten, twenty, or even thirty miles per hour faster than everyone else on the road, substantially increasing the risk of a serious crash.
- When people first learn to drive, they are typically taught the “two second rule,” which says to give two seconds of time between their vehicle and whoever is in front of them. Aggressive drivers will flatly ignore this rule, getting as close as possible to the bumper of the vehicle in front of them. This leaves them no room to brake if the vehicle ahead is forced to slow down or stop, making a crash much more likely.
- Weaving between lanes or switching lanes without signaling
- Aggressive drivers are unconcerned with whether they hurt drivers around them, leading to them engage in dangerous driving habits like weaving between lanes, or switching lanes without signaling. Besides violating the vehicle and traffic law, this behavior places other drivers at substantial risk, making them suddenly slow down or move out of the way to avoid colliding with these irresponsible drivers. This, in turn, makes crashes more likely, especially on crowded roads where drivers have little room to maneuver.
- Running red lights or ignoring traffic signs
- Aggressive drivers are often incredibly agitated, choosing to ignore traffic signals and signs. Thus, aggressive drivers ignore red lights, drive through stop signs, turn where they cannot legally turn, and otherwise engage in dangerous and illegal driving. If you see a driver rush through a red light or ignore a traffic sign, try to keep your distance for your own safety.
- Yelling insults or threats at other vehicles
- “Road rage” is the colloquial term for drivers who engage in deliberate violence against other people on the road. While this is rare on its own, many aggressive drivers will engage in a milder form of aggression, yelling insults or threats at other drivers. This can be an urgent warning sign of someone who is too angry to control their actions, making it more likely they will engage in dangerous driving.
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