Am I that guy?

Happily, I haven’t caused a car accident in 34 years of driving. But, yeah, on occasion I’ve ridden the bumper of the car in front of me, hit the gas fast to get past the senior citizen at the light and weaved through traffic like a NASCAR driver with a grudge.

Unlike drinking or texting behind the wheel, we tend to think of aggressive driving as maybe annoying but not really all that bad.

Well, that kind of behavior led to 61 deaths and 6,791 injuries in Minnesota last year, MnDOT and the Department of Public Safety said today.

They’re starting a new effort to try and get you (me?) to dial back our obnoxious behavior and they’re holding up the mirror to us.

– Paul Tosto

  • jon

    I apologize in advance for not finding a reference to the study, but I read once that drivers who are going faster, and making more snap decisions are more alert, and less likely to cause accidents.

    I believe similar studies said that drivers exceeding the speed limit by 5-10 mph were as much as 10 times less likely to be involved in an accident, where as drivers going slower then the speed limit were 7-20 times more likely to be in an accident then those doing the speed limit.

    Again sorry for not finding the source… maybe some other poster can help me out there.

  • andy

    @jon,

    Sorry, I’m not going to help, those studies sound like a load of malarkey to me.

    I drive on roads in and near Chicago and the roads are filled with aggressive drivers. I drive the speed limit, or a couple of mile-per-hour over, and I’m constantly being tail-gaited and cut off by jerks who want to get to their destination 30 seconds earlier. If this makes for safer driving, I will happily turn in my license right now, because I would love to see my next birthday. I stay very alert since I’m always watching for some jerk to take me out. Now who causes that theoretical accident?

    Also, not matter how fast the “flow” is going, there are always some who drive even faster and more aggressively. Are they even safer still? It’s not logical to me.

  • Mark

    I think we’re not so bad, I mean we have aggressive drivers relative to the rest of us, but almost every other major city I’ve been to, I just couldn’t drive in. The levels of aggression in those places (especially in other countries) makes MN feel like nothing.

  • 394 driver

    I commute on 394 every day and tailgating is a major problem. Also, what about that infamous “cut into the 94E exit at the last minute” move as you head into downtown Mpls? I’m glad to see that the state patrol has an online form to report dangerous drivers. I’ll be using it regularly and I hope to see improvements (but I won’t hold my breath).

  • Ryan

    It’s really hard to take this initiative seriously as long as the white elephant in the room is staring us in the face… inattentive driving while talking on the phone. Last fall I was rear-ended twice within two weeks by people talking on the phone. I’d rather deal with an attentive, aggressive driver than someone who’s too busy swapping gossip to realize s/he’s driving a machine that can kill in a split second.