Even the calmest drivers get frustrated occasionally. Circumstances such as running late can make the situation worse. However, it’s important to channel this frustration in a healthy way instead of engaging in aggressive driving behaviors or road rage.
What is Considered Aggressive Driving?
Broadly defined, aggressive driving is any unsafe driving behavior that a person performs intentionally or without regard for safety due to frustration on the road.
In Arizona, aggressive driving is a traffic violation and is defined by Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 28-695. It is a class one misdemeanor.
A person commits aggressive driving if they are an immediate hazard to another person/vehicle and is speeding OR commits at least two of the following violations:
- Fails to obey traffic control devices
- Makes an unsafe lane change
- Passes a vehicle on the right or drives off the main road to pass
- Follows a vehicle too closely (tailgates)
- Fails to yield the right-of-way
What is Road Rage?
Road rage is a more extreme form of aggressive driving. Behaviors that fall under the umbrella of road rage include cursing, making obscene gestures, throwing objects, sideswiping, forcing another driver off the road, or ramming into another vehicle.
Why is Aggressive Driving Dangerous?
Aggressive driving puts you and other drivers on the road at risk. Many of the behaviors associated with aggressive driving are also associated with an increased risk of being in an accident. Speeding, for example, increases accident risk significantly.
Additionally, aggressive driving can be a form of distracted driving. This is because your mind is focused on your frustration rather than on the road, reducing your reaction time. Considering that many aggressive behaviors (tailgating, for example) already reduce the amount of time you have to react to changing conditions, this can be a dangerous combination.
Avoiding Aggressive Driving
Follow these tips to help you stay calm on the road:
- Avoid confrontation as much as possible. If another driver is angry, do your best to diffuse the situation and do not engage with them or escalate the situation.
- If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a few deep breaths.
- If another driver does something that you don’t like, try not to take it personally. Do what you need to do to stay safe instead of blaming the other driver or assuming they are deliberately trying to upset you.
- Only use your horn if you need to do so to get another driver’s attention, and don’t press down for longer than you need to in order to accomplish this goal.
- Listen to calming music if you have a tendency to get frustrated while driving.
- Always follow the rules of the road. Stay within the speed limit, signal when making lane changes, and keep a safe following distance.
Tucson Accident Attorneys
If you were injured in an accident due to aggressive driving or another form of negligence, we can help. We have been fighting for the rights of injured Tucsonans for over 25 years and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.