Aggressive Driving Is On The Rise – What Can We Do To Handle It?

Angry aggressive driver in a van
Featured image credit: MachineHeadz/istockphoto.com

We see it every day – a vehicle speeding in heavy traffic, zooming in and out of lanes, overtaking vehicles and tailgating those they think are driving too slow. While some might call it road rage, this is actually a typical case of aggressive driving.

Some of the most common aggressive driving examples include speeding, tailgating, erratic lane changing, running red lights, reckless driving, passing through prohibited zones, and taking out their frustrations on other drivers.

Aggressive driving can quickly escalate into road rage. Based on the aggressive driving report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving has been a problem for decades, and has played a role in more than 56% of fatal crashes and personal injuries from 2003 through to 2007.

According to another survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 78% of U.S. drivers had engaged in at least one aggressive driving behavior in 2013. What’s more alarming is that aggressive driving behavior goes beyond honking or yelling at other drivers. The same study also highlighted that more than 50% of aggressive drivers admitted to purposely tailgating other drivers, while more than 46% admitted to yelling at other drivers to display their anger.

There is a growing concern about traffic safety, in light of data that indicates an increased number of traffic fatalities in 2015. The aggressive driving statistics released by the NHTSA indicated that an average of 96 people died every day in 2015 due to motor vehicle crashes, which translates to one fatality every 15 minutes.

What Causes People To Drive Aggressively Though?

Anonymity is one of the biggest factors that contribute to aggressive driving. A recent study by NHTSA and American Psychology Association (APA) revealed that drivers were more likely to demonstrate aggressive behavior in an environment that concealed their identity, such as driving with tinted windows or driving during the night. That’s just half the story.

As a field service business owner, your business is dependent on the people you put behind the wheel. However, the unique combination of their job – a heavier vehicle, traveling hundreds of miles under a time constraint, and late-night driving – can shred anyone’s patience, and heighten the chances of a road rage incident or heavy equipment crashes.

Aggressive driving is considered a criminal offense. The best way for your drivers to avoid aggressive driving is to practice safe driving. Here are some tips that will help reduce the risk of aggressive driving accidents.

Do Not Allow Emotionally And Physically Unfit Drivers On The Road

We all understand that alcohol consumption leads to impaired driving, but many of us do not realize that certain over-the-counter medications can also reduce our alertness. It is critical to monitor your drivers’ medications, emotions, and alcohol consumption habits. Certain drugs or a combination of drugs, even in small amounts, can slow their reflexes and impair their driving skills. Impaired driving is one of the key causes of automobile accidents. It is the manager’s responsibility to understand the health of their drivers by paying attention to health conditions, cognitive behaviors, attention spans, and ongoing medications for diseases like sleep apnea, fatigue, and diabetes that could cause erratic behavior.

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Conduct Defensive Driving Training For Drivers

Training can help prevent incidents of aggressive driving. Often, an accident is not just one driver’s fault, and you need to let your drivers know what to do after an accident. Many untrained drivers travel on roads and highways, and with proper defensive driving training your drivers will learn tricks to avoid engaging with unsafe drivers. Defensive driving training will also help your drivers become aware of poor driving habits and the safety risks involved. These training sessions should be recurring for all drivers, whether they’re new and experienced, to keep them up-to-date on safe driving practices.

Here are some training courses you can have your drivers take:

  • Basic Vehicle Maneuvers
  • Collision Prevention
  • Driver Readiness
  • External Risk Factors
  • Intersections
  • Managing Risk
  • Signs and Signals
  • Substance-Impaired Driving

To top it all off, choose an intelligent driver training solution that will track each field employee’s driving behavior, then personalize and assign training lessons accordingly, monitor their progress, and confirm that they’re learning what they need to learn.

Monitor Driver Behavior With Route Optimization Software

Choose a route optimization software that comes with a GPS tracking feature to plan well-optimized and safe routes, as well as monitoring your drivers 24/7 to see if they are speeding or driving irresponsibly. You can even set automated alerts so any time a speed violation occurs, you will immediately be advised so you can contact the driver and provide feedback to rectify the behavior. This will result in an overall increase in driver safety, and reduce motor vehicle crashes.

Recognize Safe Driving Habits

Rewarding drivers who follow good driving practices is an effective strategy that will make responsible drivers and safer roads. There are many ways to motivate your drivers including safety bonuses, vacation time, and updated in-vehicle equipment. Safety incentive programs can motivate your drivers to not only stay safe on the roads, but also motivate them to stay with your company. This will improve your employee retention and build your reputation for being an employee-centric company.

Conclusion

Considering that the majority of aggressive driving accidents are tied to personal choices or errors, promoting accident-prevention technology and monitoring driving behavior is critical for your drivers’ safety. Communicate with your drivers regularly and emphasize safe driving practices. Safe and responsible driving is not a topic you should only cover once in a while – it should be the mindset of every driver every time they get behind the wheel.

How do you control aggressive driving behavior? Do you’ve any questions? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

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