The Impact of Aggressive Driving on Your Health and Your Driving
Everyone can get impatient behind the wheel, especially when there is unexpected traffic, and you are running late. It can be tempting to cut corners or violate traffic laws to get ahead while you are driving, and some drivers even want to take their frustration out on others on the road. “Aggressive driving” refers to a range of behaviors that might result in this type of situation, and these behaviors are dangerous. In short, engaging in aggressive driving can impact not only the way you drive but also your health.
How Aggression Affects Your Driving
When you let your frustration bubble over, you may make questionable decisions while driving. Some common behaviors that result from aggression include:
- Speeding excessively
- Following too closely, commonly called “tailgating”
- Dangerous lane changes that cut off other drivers
- Honking or yelling when it is unnecessary or excessive
Some people escalate from aggressive driving to road rage, which can be particularly dangerous. Road rage can manifest itself in many ways, such as:
- Obscene gestures and threats
- Trying to intimidate other drivers, sometimes by showing you have a weapon in your car
- Purposely colliding with other vehicles
- Following drivers off the road to confront them
When aggression causes you to engage in any of the above behaviors, among others, it greatly increases your chances of being involved in a serious crash. If you are found to cause a collision due to aggressive driving, you can face substantial liability for the damage and injuries caused to others. On the other hand, if an aggressive driver injures you, you have the right to hold them accountable for their behavior. Aggressive driving can also result in costly traffic violations or even criminal charges.
Aggressive Driving and Your Health
First and foremost, aggressive driving puts your physical health at risk because of the greater chance you will suffer serious injuries in an accident. In addition, however, aggressive driving can have an impact on your health outside of the crash risks. Studies have shown that aggressive driving can:
- Elevate your blood pressure
- Increase stress and its effects on the body
- Cause increased anxiety
- Lead to heart disease
If you routinely feel aggressive or raging when you are driving, it can wear on your cardiovascular and mental health, which can result in lasting health problems that might require costly treatment.
Avoid Aggressive Driving
The good news is that even if you get impatient or frustrated, there are ways you can prevent aggressive driving. Some steps you can take include:
- Checking traffic ahead of time and planning your route accordingly
- Changing the time you leave the house to avoid traffic and/or ensure you have plenty of time
- Listen to soothing music in the car
- Pull over and take a break if you are feeling aggression rising
- Never engage or react to another aggressive driver
To learn more about the impact of aggressive driving, here’s an infographic courtesy of Blair & Rameriz LLP, a personal injury law firm in California. It discusses the possible implications of these dangerous driving behaviors.