Safety tip - Dealing with aggressive drivers

 

Safety tip - Dealing with aggressive drivers

Source: FleetAnswers Aggressive drivers are a fact of life on American roads, but for fleet management and fleet drivers, aggressiveness on the road opens a large list of potential problems. Not only do fleet managers and drivers need to be aware of their own tendencies to be aggressive, but they also must be aware of the behavior of others who share the road with them. Aggressive drivers are more likely to cause an accident, and in a fleet an accident creates costs and liability that need to be avoided.

When someone is driving aggressively, they are much more likely to engage in risky driving behavior. These are the drivers who weave in and out of traffic, brake unexpectedly to warn others to "back off," and follow closely behind other vehicles. In large fleet vehicles, which take longer to stop or change lanes, this increases the risk of an accident significantly.

Since changing the behavior of other drivers is not going to be possible, it is critical for fleet drivers to know how to respond when they notice the erratic and risky driving behavior of an aggressive driver. Here are some tips that might help you avoid an accident, even if other drivers are being overly aggressive:

  • Strive to be a polite and courteous driver, even when those around you are failing to do so.
  • Do not respond to any challenge posted by another driver. Even if the driver is signaling or making eye contact from his vehicle, simply ignore it. Take a deep, calming breath if needed.
  • Never make hand gestures at other drivers, even when they are driving poorly. This can cause them to become aggressive and increase the chances of an accident.
  • When turning or changing lanes, signal your intent so as to not upset the drivers around you.
  • Try to move out of the way of the aggressive driver. If you have to slow down and move to the slow lane, do so.
  • Report aggressive drivers to the authorities. If the driver is in a fleet vehicle, note the phone number of the company. If not, call 911 to alert the police. Give the vehicle's description, license number, location and the direction it is traveling.

In addition, make sure you take measures to avoid becoming an aggressive driver. An aggressive driver behind the wheel of a fleet vehicle is an extreme danger. Here are some tips:

  • Learn to recognize your own signs of anger, and control anger before it escalates.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to make your trip, so you do not have to speed.
  • Always wait until you have enough room to make a lane change.
  • If you struggle with aggressive driving tendencies, change your playlist to be something relaxing and soothing.

Remember, aggressive driving puts everyone at risk, but for fleet drivers, that risk is higher. Avoid it yourself, and know what to do when you see an aggressive driver on the road with you. By doing so, you and everyone on the road with you will be just a little bit safer.