When the weather gets warmer, more drivers hit Kentucky’s open roads. However, the summer season also brings road construction, slower traffic and often higher tempers.
Many studies report that during the summer months, the incidents of aggressive driving increase. Regardless of what causes this significant increase, it is critical for all drivers to be aware of the dangers of aggressive driving.
What are the risks involved in aggressive driving?
Aggressive drivers are a serious danger to all drivers on the road. Although distracted driving is the number one cause for traffic accidents, aggressive driving is not far behind. Nearly half of all motor vehicle accidents that result in injury or death are caused by aggressive driving.
This is often because aggressive drivers do not pay close enough attention to the road or other drivers as they:
- Speed on both highways and rural roads
- Brake suddenly due to speeding
- Change or weave through lanes without signaling
- Tailgate slower drivers to intimidate them
- Ignore traffic safety or rules, such as running a red light
An aggressive driver’s reckless behavior makes roads even more dangerous than they already are.
It is more common than many people like to think
While it is common for many people to feel irritated at a driver who cuts in front of them or speeds through a four-way-stop on their turn, they might be surprised to learn that more people exhibit signs of aggression behind the wheel than they thought.
The AAA Foundation conducted a study that found:
- More than 100 million drivers across the nation tailgate on purpose
- More than 20 million drivers cut off other drivers on purpose
- Around six million drivers admit to ramming another vehicle in anger
And in 2018, Kentucky ranked in the top 10 states with the most aggressive drivers. The Times-Tribune article reported that in our state, incidents of aggressive driving happen nearly every nine minutes. There is no evidence yet of how Kentucky ranks in 2019, but it is unlikely that much has changed in one year.
Watch out for aggressive drivers and your own emotions behind the wheel
If there is an incident of aggressive driving every nine minutes, that means the risk of a life-changing accident increases every nine minutes as well. It is critical for drivers to be aware of the dangers of aggressive driving and drive defensively to reduce the chance of an accident.
Staying calm and alert behind the wheel can help keep the roads safe this summer and year-round.