Eight out of 10 drivers surveyed in the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety culture Index rank aggressive driving as a “serious” or “extremely serious” risk that jeopardizes their safety.
They’re right. Aggressive driving accounts for more than half of all traffic fatalities.
Although “road rage” incidents provide some of the most shocking views of aggressive driving, many common behaviors, including racing, tailgating, failing to observe signs and regulations, and seeking confrontations with other drivers, all qualify as potentially aggressive behaviors. Speeding is one of the most prevalent aggressive behaviors. AAA Foundation studies show that speeding is a factor in one-third of all fatal crashes.
Despite a strong public awareness and understanding of aggressive driving, many people are willing to excuse aggressive behaviors. Half of all drivers in our Traffic Safety Culture Index admitted to exceeding both neighborhood and highway speed limits by more than 15% in the past 30 days. More remarkable, a quarter of drivers say they consider speeding acceptable.
Throughout outreach and education programs, we work to offer the public tools to assess their own behavior and recognize the signs of aggressive driving. As more people understand the many behaviors that can become aggressive and see their own behavior in a new light, they can begin to adopt safer driving practices and manage risk more effectively.