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What is aggressive driving?

New York has a reputation for being home to aggressive drivers, especially in large cities. Aggressive driving behaviors may dramatically increase the chances of an accident. Even a single aggressive driver on a crowded road or highway may reduce the safety of all other people in the area. Recognizing the signs of aggression is an essential aspect of driving safely and protecting yourself when you are behind the wheel.

According to the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, the are many aggressive driving behaviors that are dangerous and increase the risk of accidents. The GTSC defines aggressive driving as operating a motor vehicle in a selfish or bold manner without regarding other people's rights and safety. Some displays of aggression, such as flashing headlights, may not be as overtly dangerous as others, such as speeding or tailgating. However, even "minor" forms of aggressive driving may make the road less safe.

Some common signs of aggressive driving are speeding, ignoring traffic signals, tailgating and changing lanes unsafely. The GTSC also includes distracted and impaired driving in the list of aggressive behaviors that law enforcement personnel may target.

There are several recommendations on how to react if you witness an aggressive driver. Remaining calm may reduce the risk of increased aggressive behavior. The GTSC encourages people to maintain a significant distance from an aggressive driver (when possible) and to avoid responding to hostile gestures. The law also allows you to call 911 to report an aggressive driver. Drivers may reduce the risks of aggressive behavior by following all traffic laws, being courteous and practicing stress management techniques.  

This information on aggressive driving is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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Belovin Franzblau & Associates, P.C.
2311 White Plains Road
Bronx, NY 10467

Phone: 347-773-3628
Phone: 718-655-2900
Phone: 718-655-2000
Fax: 718-655-2363
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