The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as occurring when "an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." The range of unsafe driving behavior includes speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, or any combination of these activities.
Aggressive driving is one of the most dangerous problems on our roads today – a factor in an estimated one-third of all crashes, injuries, and fatalities nationally.
- Reduces your ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway.
- Extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle.
- Increases the distance you travel while you react to a dangerous situation.
- Increases the probability of serious injury or death when involved in a crash.
- In 2010, 10,395 people were killed nationally in speed-related crashes.
- Speed limits are designed to protect everyone – drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
The District of Columbia was one of the first jurisdictions in the area to join the Smooth Operator Program, a regional anti-aggressive driving initiative that today involves more than 50 law enforcement agencies in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Every year, Metropolitan Police participates in law enforcement waves targeting aggressive drivers. Offenses include:
- SPEEDING - going faster than the posted speed limit or too fast for weather conditions.
- RUNNING RED LIGHTS - and running stop signs.
- TAILGATING - or following other vehicles too closely.
- MAKING FREQUENT LANE CHANGES -unsafe lane changes or weaving in and out of traffic to get ahead.
- FAILING TO YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY - not allowing other drivers to merge or cutting other drivers off.
- PASSING IMPROPERLY - passing on the right, passing on the shoulder of the road, or failing to use turn signals when changing lanes.
To find out more:
- District Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office Aggressive Driving
- Metropolitan Police Department
- Smooth Operator Program
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Aggressive Driving