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 preventable accidents
Aggressive drivers in Missouri
The 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 motorists?
- 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 in intersections.
- 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.