If you drive in Virginia, you are likely to encounter an aggressive driver. These are drivers who are in such a hurry that they show no consideration for the rules of the road or the safety of others. We’ve all complained about them. What we may not realize is the behaviors that we see as normal can be interpreted by others as aggressive. Could you be an aggressive driver?
Seven Signs That You May Be an Aggressive Driver
- You are often in a hurry. Northern Virginians are busy. Most of us are balancing careers, families, and other activities. Whether we are commuting from D.C. or shuttling kids to ballet and soccer, we’re almost always in a hurry. Drivers who are in a hurry are much more likely to drive aggressively. Consider traffic when making plans and allow yourself plenty of time to get from one destination to the next.
- You follow too closely. Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of accidents in the DC area. Rear-end accidents happen when drivers don’t allow enough following distance between vehicles. There is no time for the driver who is following to react if the driver in front has to stop suddenly. Under normal conditions, it is best to leave three seconds of following distance between you and the car in front of you. Allow even more time if the weather is bad.
- You drive faster or slower than surrounding traffic. In most places, the best policy is to drive at the speed limit. However, drivers rarely go 55 on the Beltway. If the majority of drivers are not following the speed limit, then it is safest to drive at the speed of traffic and change lanes as little as possible. Going faster and frequently changing lanes put you and other drivers at risk of an accident.
- You drive in the “fast lane.” If you know you have a left exit, you may be tempted to move into the left-hand lane and stay there. But driving in the left lane is a form of aggressive driving. The left-most lanes are intended for passing. Avoid blocking passing lanes by moving to the right. Keep as far to the right as possible when driving on narrow streets and at intersections.
- You pass on both the right and left. You may think that since there are multiple lanes on I-95, it is all right to pass whenever necessary. While it’s okay to change to a lane on either side, you should only pass other vehicles from the left.
- You use your horn to let other drivers know they are making mistakes. Many Virginia drivers use their horns to express their impatience with other drivers. The fact is that the driver who is waiting at the intersection is the only one who is able to adequately judge when it is safe for him to turn. Your car horn should only be used to prevent accidents and to alert other drivers if you feel you are in danger. Avoid using your horn for other purposes.
- You consider traffic rules optional. You may know that the stop sign on your street is never monitored; however, you should still come to a complete stop. Traffic laws exist to prevent accidents. Others drivers use the laws to predict driver behavior. If you aren’t following the rules, you risk causing an accident.
Is someone you know an aggressive driver? Share this post. The driver may not be aware that his behavior is dangerous.