20110131 ST [electronic version only]
Transportation Review, (2007), No. 2 (February), 9 p., 9 ref.
|Samenvatting||The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as "an individual committing a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." More specifically, speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, or any combination of these activities generally is considered aggressive driving. Hand gestures, shouting and flashing high beams also fall within the definition of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving differs from the term "road rage" commonly used by the public and the media. Road rage differs from aggressive driving because, as defined by the NHTSA, it is "an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or is caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway." NHTSA also points out that "road rage" is a criminal offense. That factor alone can no longer distinguish aggressive driving from road rage however, because a few states have adopted laws that criminalize aggressive driving. Aggressive driving-- not only in America, but around the world--has become a problem that lawmakers and law enforcement agencies are attempting to control. Many theories exist about the causes of aggressive driving. Leon James and Diane Nahl explore the causes of aggressive driving in their book, Road Rage and Aggressive Driving. According to James and Nahl, the combination of an individual's competitive nature, anxiety caused by the high risk and unpredictable nature of driving itself, the social dynamic of driving, and the general attitude of "if they aren't following the rules, why should I" contribute to aggressive driving behavior. Whether the cause of aggressive driving is a competitive spirit or high stress, aggressive driving is a dangerous problem on the roads. Mizell and Co. International Security conducted a study by tracking newspaper clippings and police reports from January 1, 1990, through August 31, 1996, concerning aggressive driving. The study found 10,037 incidents of violent aggressive driving resulting in at least 218 fatalities and another 12,610 injuries. In 2003, Delaware listed aggressive driving as a contributing factor in 53 percent of the 127 fatal motor vehicle crashes that year. Delaware estimates that on average, acts of aggressive driving are involved in 43 percent of all traffic crashes in the state annually. This review presents state legislative action regarding aggressive driving, discusses the effectiveness of state enforcement programs, and lists federal action regarding aggressive driving. (Author/publisher)|
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