You may be on your way to work when a big SUV rockets past you. Pretty soon, you see the driver quickly moving from lane to lane, speeding toward his destination. You’ve probably wondered when someone driving like that will cause an accident.

The dangers of aggressive driving

It may seem common sense that aggressive drivers cause more accidents. So not surprisingly, 2017 statistics from the Insurance Information Institute back that up. Some of the most interesting stats about the link between aggressive driving and accidents include the following:

  • 9% of accidents were caused by drivers speeding too fast for conditions, going above the speed limit or even racing.
  • 3% of accidents were caused by drivers’ failure to keep in the proper lane.
  • 1% of accidents were caused by drivers’ failure to yield right of way.
  • 1% of accidents were caused by drivers operating vehicles in a careless manner.
  • 1% of accidents were caused by drivers’ failure to obey traffic signs, signals or officers.
  • 8% of accidents were caused by drivers operating vehicles in an erratic, reckless or negligent manner.

The benefits of defensive driving

To avoid being in an accident, drivers should practice defensive driving techniques. Being a defensive driver first requires you to drive as if an accident can occur at any time, anywhere. In order to best do that, you can follow these tips:

  1. Keep your eyes on the road and your surroundings. You should always watch for vehicles approaching behind you or merging from other roadways.
  2. Follow the speed limit and go slower in difficult road conditions. You will give yourself more time to react to traffic conditions if you don’t speed and go slower when roads are overly wet or icy.
  3. Follow the three-second rule. Keep three seconds between you and the car ahead of you. You can judge this by counting to three after the vehicle ahead of you passes a sign or light pole. Slow down if you are less than three seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you.
  4. Don’t be a distracted driver. While distracted driving isn’t considered aggressive driving, it still leads to many traffic deaths. In fact, in 2017, more than 3,100 motorists lost their lives in distracted driving accidents.

By using these defensive driving techniques, you’ll be better able to avoid aggressive drivers and stay safe on Arizona roadways.