Get a grip on aggressive driving

This content is sponsored by District Department of Transportation

Aggressive driving is one of the most dangerous problems on our roads today. Statistics show aggressive driving is a factor in nearly one-third of all crashes, injuries and fatalities nationally. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”

A new campaign, “Get a Grip on Your Aggressive Driving in DC,” running in the District reminds motorists to be aware of their driving behavior and to stop aggressive driving. DC police – focused on keeping people on our roadways safe – are enforcing the law and stopping and ticketing speeders and aggressive drivers. Aggressive driving offenses include:

  • Speeding – going faster than the posted speed limit or too fast for weather conditions;
  • Making unsafe lane changes – frequent lane changes or weaving in and out of traffic to get ahead;
  • Running red lights and stop signs;
  • Tailgating or following other vehicles too closely;
  • Failing to yield the right away – not allowing other drivers to merge or cutting other drivers off;
  • Passing improperly – passing on the right, passing on the shoulder of the road, or failing to use turn signals when changing lanes.

An AAA safety on the roads study showed that more than half of all fatal crashes involved unsafe driving behaviors associated with aggressive driving. This is a deadly behavior and drivers need to be aware of their emotions and mental state while behind the wheel.

Speeding killed 10,111 people, accounting for more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities in 2016, based on data from NHTSA. The data also showed that 20 percent of percent of drivers speeding in fatal crashes in 2016 had previously been involved in a crash and 26 percent had a previous speeding conviction.

The Metropolitan Police Department are taking preventive measures to combat this problem by ticketing motorists who are speeding or driving aggressively in any way. Aggressive driving will not be tolerated on the District’s roadways. Some simple steps to avoid aggressive driving are:

  • Obey all posted speed limits or drive slower if necessary based on traffic conditions.
  • Avoid unsafe lane changes. Make sure to use your turn signal when changing lanes.
  • Allow more travel time to get to your destination — it can reduce stress.
  • Come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs. Never run yellow lights.
  • Allow other drivers to merge with you.
  • Don’t follow other drivers too closely.
  • Resist the urge to check your phone. Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and concentration on the task of driving.
  • Remember that you can’t control traffic — but you can control yourself, your driving and your emotions.

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