AGGRESSIVE DRIVING How to avoid hostile behavior on the road

Most drivers know “road rage” when they see it. It’s when one driver intends to intimidate, threaten, or harm another, and often includes dangerous behaviors such as speeding or tailgating.

Road rage happens when aggressive driving mixes with anger, and the results could be deadly. In fact, aggressive driving contributes to more than half of fatal crashes, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. And in a new AAA study, almost 80% of drivers surveyed said they expressed significant anger behind the wheel at least once in the past year.

Are You An Aggressive Driver?

Find out what you’re like behind the wheel. The Driver Stress Profile will show how aggressive you are on the road. Take the quiz.

What Did the Study Find?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied aggressive driving as part of its annual Traffic Safety Culture Index. Researchers surveyed 2,705 licensed drivers aged 16 and older. Nearly half of those drivers admitted to the following actions:

Tailgate icon



Man shouting icon


yelling at another driver

More Results

Other aggressive behaviors were reported by the following percentages of drivers:

honking to show anger
or annoyance

making angry gestures

trying to block a
lane change

cutting off another vehicle

leaving vehicle to confront
another driver

hitting another vehicle

What Can You Do?

Even a responsible driver can become a target of road rage. Nine out of 10 people believe that aggressive drivers are a serious safety threat. Here’s how you can best avoid getting you or your passengers involved in a dangerous situation on the road.

Don’t offend

  • When switching lanes, first check that you have space, then use your signal.
  • Move to the right if you’re driving more slowly than surrounding traffic.
  • Avoid tailgating, and slow down if you’re following too closely.

Don’t engage

  • Steer clear of speeding, tailgating, and otherwise aggressive drivers.
  • Avoid making eye contact with angry drivers; they may see it as a challenge.
  • Contact the police if a situation escalates and becomes serious.

Don’t get angry

  • Don’t take another driver’s actions personally.
  • Let go of your pride. “Winning” is not worth risking your safety.
  • Seek professional help if you think you have a serious behavioral issue.

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