SWOV Catalogus

323312

NHTSA Notes Commentary: strategies to combat aggressive driving.
20051235 ST [electronic version only]
Todd, K.H.
Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 34 (1999), No. 6 (December), p. 800-801, 5 ref.

Samenvatting The terms “aggressive driving” and “road rage” have received increased attention over the past few years. Aggressive driving may be defined as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” These behaviors generally constitute traffic offenses and are distinct from road rage, a criminal offense involving verbal or physical threats or assault. The driver, the driver’s vehicle, or even a firearm conveniently located in the driver’s glove compartment may be used in a physical assault associated with road rage. The media probably magnifies the incidence of road rage in an attempt to sensationalize the phenomenon and attract additional viewers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently surveyed the public’s perceptions of aggressive driving and found that it was considered a common occurrence that may be increasing in frequency. Although we cannot state with certainty that it is more common, aggressive driving surely contributes to the morbidity and mortality associated with automobiles and deserves our attention as emergency physicians involved in injury prevention and control. The critical question is how to fashion effective countermeasures. Injury prevention involves 3 general strategies: education, enforcement, and engineering. Educational strategies attempt to convince high-risk individuals or groups to change hazardous behavior or adopt safety precautions such as buckling seat belts and driving safely. Education has its major effect on those who are receptive to safe driving messages. As the NHTSA survey highlights, young men are the most likely to report aggressive driving behaviors and at the same time are also the least likely to view those behaviors as risky. These views should come as no surprise to emergency physicians who regularly treat this segment of the population for the consequences of a variety of risky behaviors. As a result of these attitudes, and regardless of the magnitude and scope of an aggressive driving public education program, it is likely that members of this high-risk group will either not understand these safety messages or actively reject them. (Author/publisher)
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