By: Donna Devita
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Most of us at one time or another have been guilty of driving a bit aggressively on the roads, but Connecticut motorists stand a little more guilty than others. Connecticut drivers were recently rated the second most aggressive drivers in the country according to a study by GasBuddy, and the consequences of these driving habits are having a negative overall impact on the state.
Aggressive Driving Is Dangerous
Aggressive driving is a significant cause of highway vehicle accidents in the United States and is especially widespread throughout Connecticut, California, and Georgia due to compact congestion. In 2015, speeding alone was the cause of 27% of all car crashes and responsible for 9,557 fatalities across the country. Driving aggressively could result in serious and fatal vehicle collisions and pedestrian accidents. Aggressive drivers are also more susceptible to displaying road rage or invoking road rage from others, leading to criminal offenses that can lead to serious legal consequences.
Aggressive Driving Is Expensive
Poor driving habits are not only dangerous, they can be outright expensive. Aggressive drivers are affiliated with speeding, hard breaking, and rapid accelerations, which are also behaviors known for quickly guzzling fuel. Motorists who display these aggressive driving behaviors can lower their vehicle’s gas mileage as much as 40%! When you factor in that Connecticut fuel costs are continuing to rise higher than they have been in the last three years, aggressive drivers will be in for quite the shock at the pump more often than they’d like.
Aggressive Driving Is Contagious
One of the least appealing consequences of aggressive driving is its ability to spread like wildfire. It’s easy to drive faster when everyone else around you is speeding or to swerve around traffic when you’ve witnessed the car ahead successfully do so. Some studies have even explored the biological and psychological reasons behind why some calm drivers can transition quickly into road rage-like behaviors when interacting with other aggressive drivers. For every aggressive driver who hits the streets, another few are created from mimicking and trying to keep up with other motorists on the road.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
As defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving refers to “The operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” This could include driving habits such as:
- Weaving through cars in traffic
- Failing to yield
- Failing to signal
- Running stop signs or traffic lights
- Hard breaking and/or fast accelerations
- Blocking traffic or refusing to allow others to merge
- Using your horn
In rare instances, drivers have a valid reason for displaying aggressive behaviors, such driving fast to the hospital for a medical emergency. However, when it comes to the average aggressive driver, the most common reasons for risky road behaviors are not as critical as you would like to believe. Most motorists drive aggressively because they…
- were running late
- were stuck in traffic delays and rush hour
- have little regard for the law or others
- developed a habit by learning from others
- were distracted and weren’t aware
- believe vehicles are safer than they are
- believe drivers can always see them
Calm Down On The Roads
Road congestion is one of the biggest stressors for Connecticut drivers, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. To help avoid falling victim to aggressive driving behaviors, make sure to leave plenty of time for your commute. Plan ahead the best you can to avoid having to rush over the speed limit. Stay steady on the break and steady on the gas. And if you encounter an aggressive driver, move out of the way and don’t engage. Aggressive driving has serious physical, emotional, and financial consequences for motorists that are not worth the risk of teaching someone a lesson on the road.
Justice For CT Drivers
Aggressive driving behaviors have the potential for causing devastating injuries. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to the reckless driving of another, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our winning attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace for a free consultation and review your options for seeking the justice you deserve.