Posted November 15, 2002
VIDEO NEWS CLIPS
Jon Secada PSA
Channel 2 Atlanta
by Chris Huffman, past President of the American Institute for Public Safety
As we are making our way around the various FORSCOM locations holding classes and training instructors, it is evident that there needs to be some clarification regarding what is aggressive driving and what is “road rage”.
In order to deal with negative high-risk behaviors it is imperative to have a common understanding of what exactly aggressive driving is and what “road rage” is and the difference between the two.
Aggressive driving is now the leading concern among drivers today according to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey. Aggressive driving is responsible for two-thirds of all auto fatalities or 27,000 deaths per year. This is four times as many deaths that are attributable to DUI with a blood alcohol content of greater than 0.08.
There is a tendency to say that aggressive
driving is road rage and road rage is aggressive driving. There is a
significant difference between the two.
Road rage is a felonious criminal assault of one driver or passenger of a motor vehicle on another driver or passenger of a motor vehicle using either a weapon or the vehicle to inflict serious injury or death. There are approximately 200 road rage fatalities per year.
Aggressive driving characteristics include driving unbelted, driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, fatigue, medication or under the influence of your own emotions that then causes impaired negative high-risk choices while driving. Speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, using your car to punish another driver or making obscene gestures are a few of the many traits of an aggressive driver.
Aggressive driving takes many forms but can be defined in three categories. They are a lack of courtesy, breaking the rules and angry driving. Each of the associated attitudes and behaviors related to these three categories can start you up the escalator of aggressive driving. There are three "zones" you can find yourself in when driving aggressively. They are the impatient zone, the hostile zone and the war zone.
By riding up that "escalator" you increase your chances of serious injury or fatality. The ultimate manifestation of aggressive driving, when you reach the pinnacle of the war zone, is road rage. It is important that you are able to add some techniques to your own personal "tool kit" of driving attitudes and behaviors. These techniques will help you avoid becoming the victim of an aggressive driver as well as helping you change you own aggressive driving tendencies.
The key to changing these negative high-risk attitudes and behavior is to acknowledge that at one time or another we have all been an aggressive driver, so it can happen to any one of us. If we realize that we all could be part of the problem then we can all become part of the solution.
Secondly, become much more self aware of our own driving attitudes and behaviors. To be able to observe our own behavior and in seeing ourselves being able to witness our behavior and modify our attitudes and decisions and get off the escalator of high risk decision making while driving.
In order to build your
self-awareness and measure your own aggressive driving tendencies take our
online survey at www.aipsarmy.com and click on "take
This can be the first
step for you to possibly save your life and start to develop in new
attitude towards the driving community.
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