The high volume of traffic in and around the metro area means lengthy commutes for many area residents, and lengthy commutes eat into relaxation time, as well as time motorists could devote to home and work responsibilities — it’s a situation that creates significant frustration and often contributes to aggressive driving. Aggressive driving has a significant impact on the safety of DC-area roadways. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) encourages area motorists to help address the problem of aggressive driving by adopting the following safe driving practices related to aggressive driving through their “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign:
“What if I encounter an aggressive driver?
- Always make sure you and everyone in the vehicle is buckled up. That is the best defense against an aggressive driver.
- Do not engage the other driver.
- Do not react to provocation.
- Do not make eye contact, or make any gestures to further aggravate the situation.
- Do your best to get away from the driver safely.
- Call local law enforcement or dial #77 on the interstate to report the aggressive driver to the state police. Be prepared to provide a description of the driver’s vehicle, location, direction of travel and license plate number.
- If you are followed, drive to a police station or a busy public place. Do not drive home or get out of your car.
- Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
- If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the driving behavior that you witnessed.
To avoid being an aggressive driver:
- Allow plenty of time to get to your destination and plan your journey to avoid rush hours.
- Improve the comfort in your vehicle and understand that you cannot control the traffic.
- Don’t drive when you are angry.
- Listen to soothing music when you drive.
- Listen to traffic and weather reports to learn of potential delays and hazards.
To be a courteous driver:
- Do not tailgate.
- Use your horn sparingly.
- Do not block the passing lane.
- Provide appropriate distance when changing lanes after passing another vehicle.
- Use your signals to indicate a turn or lane change.
- Concentrate on your driving, not on your cell phone, stereo, passengers or other distractions.
- Avoid unnecessary use of your high beam headlights.”
Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- Smooth Operator program targets aggressive drivers in the metro area
- Partners for Safe Teen Driving: A Virginia health initiative
- Nighttime driving safety recommendations
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