What is Aggressive Driving?

by mphippen 9. November 2012 08:21

You’re in the fast lane going the speed limit maybe a bit more, when you see in the rearview mirror another driver inches from your bumper flashing their headlights! You immediately retaliate and start pumping the brakes while gesticulating a digit salute. This is how it starts. I euphemistically call it “Idiots behind the Wheel.” I hesitate to call it style or lack thereof, but this style of driving is all about selfishness. This menace perceives their time as far more important than yours or mine, so you had better get out of the way! Who are these people?

This mind set takes me back to my teenage years when I’d jackrabbit out of each signal change and race to pull away from my fellow drivers. It took several years, but I finally realized all I’d accomplished was to arrive at the next red light seconds before the others; all sporting a knowing smile.

In a 2002 study by George Schreer, Department of Psychology, Manhattanville College, NY, "…People holding unrealistically highly favorable views of the self (i.e., high in narcissism) that are disputed or undermined by another person (i.e., ego threat) will be more prone to display aggression in order to defend their grandiose views of themselves…" Most experts agree that threatened egotism is also associated with murder, rape, as well as gang activity. Making the jump to aggressive driving involves the very same ego-centric behavior. So in this context, a narcissistic driver may perceive another driver’s action as a personal threat to their inflated ego leading to retaliation, which is often manifested as aggressive driving!

Will anger management classes, more education, or a pithy PSA slow these people down? Perhaps a handful, but I'd venture to say not many. This deep seated belligerence is like most ego driven actions; it's all about them!

The only thing these self obsessed folks understand is being pulled over, cited, and fined! If your department has not installed an aggressive driver mitigation program, it's time to begin one. The best way to implement a program is to start with effective equipment. TruCam can not only detect speed and range, it can mathematically determine when a vehicle is tailgating as well! Go to court with more than a visual estimate. TruCam's high resolution video camera will document each violation so the judge will see exactly what you did!

Given the narcissistic nature of aggressive driving we should expect the plague to continue, but if not checked, these intimidators will eventually kill someone.

Read more on how LTI is assisting law officers with tailgating enforcement and then call 1-800-OWN-A-LTI or contact LTI for a practical demonstration.

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