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

concept of aggressive driving

We see aggressive driving 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.

It’s the primary cause of fatal road accidents in the U.S., and such lousy driving behavior has been a problem for decades. According to an old report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it has played a role in more than 56% of fatal crashes and personal injuries from 2003 to 2007.

As per a 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.

More alarming is that such dangerous 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 anger.

But what’s the solution? Let’s find out.

What Are the Causes of Aggressive Driving?

Aggressive driving often results from a combination of factors, and it can be challenging to determine the root cause of aggression. However, there are some common reasons why people drive aggressively, such as:

  • Traffic Congestion. With more cars on the roads, there is more traffic congestion, which can lead to frustration and aggression. However, you can’t reduce traffic but can use a route optimizer like Route4Me to avoid high-traffic areas.


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  • Stress. Drivers often show aggressive behaviors due to pressure from work, family, or other life problems.
  • Alcohol Consumption. Alcohol impairment can make it difficult to drive safely and can lead to aggressive behaviors behind the wheel.
  • Drugs, including prescription medication, can also affect drivers’ ability to operate vehicles safely. Certain medicines can cause side effects that can lead to aggressive behaviors.
  • Aggressive personalities. Some people are naturally aggressive and tend to take it out on other drivers behind the wheel.
  • Impatience. Some people are simply impatient and don’t like waiting in traffic. This can lead them to drive aggressively to get where they’re going faster.
  • In a Hurry. Often, people drive aggressively because they’re in a hurry to reach their destination. This can be due to being late for an appointment or delivery or trying to make up for the lost time.
  • Aggression breeds aggression. If a driver sees another driver behaving aggressively, it can often trigger their own aggressive tendencies.
  • Cutting someone off. Cutting someone off in traffic is one of the surest ways to anger another driver and provoke an aggressive response.

What Are The Effects of Aggressive Driving?

Here are ten effects of aggressive driving that you should be aware of:

  • The chances of road rage increase, which can result in violence and accidents.

concept of dealing with road rage

  • Aggressive driving can be highly stressful, both mentally and physically.
  • Increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident, which can result in injury or death.
  • It can lead to financial problems as fuel, repairs, and insurance costs increase.
  • Driving aggressively can cause your driver to lose their license.
  • Reduces the lifespan of your vehicle by damaging components and causing wear and tear.
  • It can affect drivers’ mental health, causing anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Driving aggressively can make it difficult for drivers to fall asleep at night, as their minds could still be racing from the day’s events which could affect the next day’s performance.
  • Increases fuel consumption, which can lead to higher emissions and environmental damage.

Carbon neutral shipping concept

Is Aggressive Driving a Criminal Offense?

Aggressive driving is a criminal offense in many jurisdictions. However, the specific crime varies from state to state. In some states, driving aggressively means simply a traffic violation; in others, it may be charged as a misdemeanor or even a felony.

For example, reckless driving in California can cost a maximum of $10,000 in fines and/or four years jail term. While in Arizona, driving aggressively can lead to six months maximum imprisonment.

According to American Automobile Association (AAA), 13 states and Washington, D.C. have aggressive driving laws. Also, three additional states (UT, PA, and CA) have taken steps on aggressive driving through other legislative actions.

How to Report An Aggressive Driver

Keeping yourself safe on the road is not enough. You should also keep a close watch on others on the road with you, and that’s why you should report aggressive driving behavior as soon as you witness it.

Here are some ways you can report extreme driving behaviors.

Leverage Dash Cam

Do you have a dash cam installed in your car?

If yes, then your job would be much easier to report reckless driving as a dash cam can record the incident as it happens. You can share that footage with the cops to prove that a specific driver was endangering others.

Note Down the License Plate Number

If you don’t have a dash cam installed, it can be challenging to report aggressive behavior but not impossible.

Try to get the license plate number of the vehicle you see moving recklessly, and then pull over to a safe spot and call the police. If you feel something wrong may happen soon because of that behavior, call 911.

File a Report from Home

If you’re in a hurry or have a lot of packages to deliver, it could be challenging to spend even a minute calling authorities and reporting aggressive behavior.

In such a scenario, you can file an aggressive driver report online from your home. Check if the DMVor police in your area have specific forms to report dangerous driving behavior and fill up accordingly.

Use a Dedicated App to Report Aggressive Driving

Many mobile apps help you to report aggressive drivers quickly and anonymously.

For example, there is an app called Nexar, which uses your smartphone as a dashcam to enable you to record reckless driving.

The app can detect lousy driving, such as sudden braking or swerving, and send a pop-up message asking permission to start the recording. It even helps you capture and share or save a license plate number.

Some other popular apps to report irresponsible drivers are Drive Me Crazy, Fail Driver, and Bad Driver Database.

How to Avoid Aggressive Driving Situations

Here are ten ways you or your drivers can avoid aggressive driving situations.

  • Plan ahead. If you know a particular stretch of road will be congested, leave early so you’re not rushed. Rushing only leads to frustration – and again, frustrated drivers are more likely to be aggressive.

The best way to plan optimized routes in advance is to use a multi-stop route planner like Route4Me, which considers traffic, weather, and many other factors while planning routes that can slow you or your drivers down. You can plan routes for weeks or even months.

Learn how Route4Me can help with schedule optimization.

Route4Me route planner even offers a GPS tracker to help dispatchers or managers track driving behavior in real-time and see if they are speeding or driving irresponsibly.

Learn the top ten benefits of GPS tracking.

GPS tracking to monitor aggressive driving

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.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Drivers Stay Safe on the Road and Save Money?

Whether you want to plan safe delivery routes, track aggressive driving, or keep your customers satisfied by avoiding delays due to road rage… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


  • Avoid Eye Contact. Aggressive drivers may interpret eye contact as a challenge, so it’s best to avoid it if possible.
  • Don’t respond to provocation. If an aggressive driver tries to engage you in a confrontation, ignore them and keep driving.
  • Keep your distance. If someone is tailgating you, don’t speed up to get away from them; that could cause an accident if they rear-end you. Instead, slow down and let them pass when it’s safe. And if someone is speeding up to pass you, don’t swerve into their lane to block them; that’s dangerous and illegal. Just let them go and continue on your way.
  • Use your horn sparingly. Make a beep only when necessary and never a long, drawn-out honk. That will just aggravate the situation – and the other drivers around you.
  • Don’t make any sudden moves. Don’t make sudden lane changes without a signal. Signaling is crucial because it lets other drivers know what you’re doing. It helps to avoid accidents caused by misunderstandings or miscommunication.
  • Stay calm. If someone is driving aggressively, it’s important not to let them get to you. Getting angry will only make the situation worse. If someone cuts you off or drives aggressively, stay calm and don’t take the bait.
  • Don’t make gestures. Yes, it can be tempting to give the finger or shout obscenities, but that’s only going to escalate the situation – and again, it’s not worth it.
  • Don’t block the flow of traffic. If you’re driving slowly in the left lane, be prepared for other drivers to pass you on the right – and don’t take it personally! It’s just how traffic works.
  • Don’t block the box. When stopped at a light or stop sign, ensure you have enough room to get through the intersection before the light turns green. If you’re blocking the box, you’re holding up traffic – and trust me, those other drivers are not happy about it.
  • Don’t tailgate. It’s tempting to follow closely behind the car, but aggressive drivers are often trigger-happy when using their brakes.
  • Don’t take things personally. Remember that not everything on the road is about you. Other drivers may be having a bad day or dealing with an emergency. Cut them some slack and try not to take their behavior personally.
  • Drive defensively. This means being aware of your surroundings and being prepared for anything. If someone starts driving aggressively, stay calm and focus on safely getting out of the situation. Drive defensively, and don’t take any risks that could jeopardize your safety or the safety of others on the road.

defensive driving concept

Final Thoughts about Avoiding Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is a serious issue that can cause accidents and injuries and negatively impact the reputation of a business.

Fortunately, there are steps that we can take to avoid aggressive driving situations, such as being mindful of our own behavior behind the wheel and reporting aggressive drivers to the authorities when necessary. Following the steps mentioned above and using a delivery route planner can help create a safer and more peaceful driving environment for ourselves and others.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Drivers Stay Safe on the Road and Save Money?

Whether you want to plan safe delivery routes, track aggressive driving, or keep your customers satisfied by avoiding delays due to road rage… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.