Are you that guy? Aggressive drivers need a timeout


We’ve all seen someone who does it. Many of us know someone who does it. And at least some of us are the people who do it. Aggressive driving. It’s a term that hasn’t been in the common vernacular that long, even if the behaviors it encompasses have been around as long as automobiles, and maybe longer.

While it might sound innocuous, you might as well call aggressive driving “extra-dangerous driving,” because the dangers of the driving style to the drivers and others on the road are well-documented. As of Oct. 19, 32 of 83 fatal crashes in Delaware in 2012 (39 percent) had been attributed to aggressive driving behaviors.

The good news is that law enforcement is now targeting aggressive drivers with special enforcement efforts, including one running this week, through Nov. 3. Police are being asked to focus on the top four aggressive driving violations in Delaware, with the primary focus on drivers who fail to grant the right-of-way to other drivers.

Right-of-way violations include drivers who turn left in front of another vehicle, pull out in front of other vehicles at stop signs and fail to merge safely. Failure to grant the right-of-way is also the primary contributing factor in aggressive driving-related fatal and injury-causing crashes, officials noted. Other aggressive-driving behaviors include speeding, tailgating, making improper lane changes and running red lights or stop signs.

So, when you crossed that double-yellow line last week to go around the car that was driving 45 mph on a windy country road with no shoulders, you weren’t just in a hurry — you were “that guy.” You were the aggressive driver.

Drivers cited for aggressive driving get 6 points on their licenses and fines between $100 and $300. They are also required to pay an additional $100 and complete an eight-hour behavior modification/attitudinal driving course within 90 days after conviction. Fail to do so, and you lose your license. Fail to stop driving aggressively and you could lose a lot more, including your life or that of a friend or family member — or your future, if you cause a serious accident.

If you are “that guy,” you probably already know it. Your friends certainly do. But if you need confirmation, take the quiz at www.AggressivedrivingDE.com. At some point, we all get impatient or irritated while driving, but if you find yourself driving aggressively, it’s time to have a talk with your better self and ask yourself if you really want to be “that guy.”

A reminder:?Coastal Point policy is to not run election-related letters in the issue prior to an election, to allow candidates time to respond before people go to the polls. Next week’s issue will include our Q&A with candidates for local offices. Vote informed!