It’s easy to ignore the flaws in ourselves that we see in others. In fact, our brains often naturally do this as a form of confirmation bias. Sometimes, this phenomenon can lead to an innocent faux pas, such as leaving a gathering without saying goodbye to the host. Other times, it can lead to habits that put ourselves and others in danger, such as when we drive aggressively without even realizing it.
Recognizing aggressive driving in others is easy, especially when they cause us frustration on the road. However, recognizing aggressive driving in ourselves can be tougher, especially if you’re driving “the way you learned”.
You can use the five signs below to have a come-to-awareness moment about your own driving habits. Then, you can adjust to driving more safely accordingly.
Unfortunately, we can only control ourselves and not others on the road. So if you find yourself in an accident caused by someone else’s aggressive driving or negligence, then don’t hesitate to exercise your legal right to declare them at fault and pursue compensation from their insurer. A car accident injury lawyer at Auger & Auger can help, so make sure to call us at (800) 559-5741 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation next time you’re in a collision.
You’re Often Speeding
While many drivers habitually aim for “five over” the speed limit, others constantly go well beyond that threshold. If you’re regularly pushing ten over, you’re not only risking a ticket but increasing the chances of a collision with those around you.
According to the NHTSA, speeding in any capacity can:
- Make loss of control more likely
- Reduce the effectiveness of safety equipment
- Decrease stopping abilities if a hazard appears
- Increase the risk of crash severity or injury severity
- Cost you more in terms of gas, maintenance, and consumables like tires
You Rarely Yield the Right of Way
A great driver’s ed instructor from our past once said that “the right of way is always given, never taken.” There’s nothing wrong with assuming your place in line, but if you’re constantly trying to prevent others from getting that chance, then it could be a sign you’re a more aggressive driver than most.
Be cautious when approaching any intersection or dealing with someone who might turn or merge in front of you. While it may be tempting to hit the gas and prevent them from cutting in, the safer decision is always to wait an extra second, give them space, and prepare for the chance that they want to aggressively insert themselves just more than enough than you to matter — leading to a likely crash.
You Change Lanes Frequently in Order to Get Around Slow Traffic
You can actually get a ticket for passing on the right, even though it’s rare. This fact should remind us that passing should be a controlled maneuver done with proper planning, preparation, and deliberate thought.
Weaving through traffic just to get a few spots ahead, on the other hand, is anything but a controlled maneuver. Every single lane change risks contact, and once you’ve changed positions you’re presented with a lot of new road information all at once. The more often you make these rapid changes, the more likely you are to be caught by surprise, such as by a bicyclist traveling close within the path of motor vehicle traffic.
Try to consciously be aware of the number of times you change lanes to overtake people and connect that with the speed and sudden direction changes you use to make the switch. If you find yourself switching back and forth frequently or consistently passing on the right, it’s a good sign your habits may need to change.
You Follow Traffic Too Closely
Following too close to the vehicle ahead of you is never a good idea. You’re putting your trust in a total stranger, and you should know that you’ll almost always be listed at fault in the event of a collision.
Ask any law enforcement officer, and they’ll tell you that after a rear-end collision just about the only time the person in front gets a ticket is if they were going in reverse. In other words, traffic laws make no excuse for rear-ending someone — you’re always “following too closely,” even in sudden or unnecessary braking situations.
In stop/start traffic, you should always be able to see pavement underneath the tires of the vehicle in front of you. At city and highway speeds, you should have one second of delay between you and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 mph you’re going. You can practice determining if you’re following too closely by counting up once the vehicle in front of you passes a landmark. Be conscious, make an effort, and give people space to reduce your odds of a wreck.
The Horn Is Your Favorite Instrument in Traffic
Our horns exist for a reason, but the biggest one is “warning someone who’s about to hit you to wake up.” In most other instances, laying on the horn is an unnecessary accouterment to whatever traffic situation happens to be playing out.
If you frequently blast your horn in traffic, it’s a telltale sign you’re letting your emotions get the better of you. Remember that a horn honk is ambiguous: the other drivers around you can’t know exactly what it means. The person you’re not directing the honk at might get nervous and make a mistake thinking they need to get out of the way.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer If You Get Tangled up in an Accident
Even if some of us do occasionally push our driving habits, that doesn’t mean we’re at fault for every accident we’re involved in. Any accident caused by someone else’s negligence can be grounds for a personal injury claim, allowing you to recover the costs of your medical treatment, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and other damages. And — in most states — you’re still eligible to recover a portion of damages even if you’re found partially at fault.
Find out whether you could be entitled to compensation and how much during a free, no-obligation case review with an experienced car accident attorney from Auger & Auger. We’ve been helping victims in the Carolinas for over 25 years, and we’re prepared to help you!
Call (800) 559-5741 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation now.