Focus on Fleet Safety: Driven to Destruction

There are lots of drivers on the roads who are just plain rude. They tailgate, they forget to use their turn signals, they race through a yellow light when they really should have stopped. Sometimes drivers are worse than rude—they are downright dangerous. Aggressive driving is one of the four driving behaviors that can increase crash risk; encourage your drivers to keep their cool and to react appropriately to aggressive drivers they may encounter so that nobody is driven to destruction.

Aggressive driving behaviors include tailgating, abrupt lane changes, rude hand gestures, failing to yield the right-of-way, flashing your high beams, cutting another driver off, and speeding. Offer your drivers these tips to reduce aggressive driving.

Don’t Be Aggressive

Aggressive drivers more than double their risk of crashing. Reduce your stress and increase your safety by:

  • Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination,
  • Planning your route in advance, and
  • Altering your schedule or route to avoid busy roads.

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Specific aggressive driving situations to avoid include:

  • Cutting off other drivers. This is dangerous, especially if you cut off a big semitrailer. After you pass a semitrailer, make sure you can see the cab of the truck in your rearview mirror before reentering the right lane. Maintain your speed. Do not slow down once you are in front of the truck.
  • Using passing lanes properly. A passing lane is supposed to be just that. If you are in the passing lane, don’t stay there if you are driving more slowly than others and blocking the lane. Move back to the right-hand lane where the traffic is going at a slower speed.

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React Appropriately to Other Aggressive Drivers

Sometimes, you’re the aggressive driver; other times, you may encounter an aggressive driver. How should you respond in order to defuse potential “road rage” situations and avoid crashes?

  • Drive courteously but defensively.
  • Be prepared if you have to take emergency action to avoid a collision.
  • Don’t respond to screaming or rude signals.
  • Go with the flow of traffic.
  • If a vehicle cuts you off, drop back and let it go on ahead.

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