Aggressive Driving Study Places Texas in Top 5 – Is It Accurate?

by Terry Bryant

According to the Smartphone app GasBuddy, Texas ranks as the 4th worst state when it comes to aggressive driving.

Gas Buddy defines “aggressive driving” as: cutting other drivers off, hard braking (sudden stops), and sudden acceleration/speeding. Texas’ Department of Public Safety (DPS) includes those behaviors and a few more, like following too closely (tailgating), in its definition of aggressive driving.

GasBuddy examined tens of millions of “Trips” – a permission-based driver monitoring feature in its mobile app – in all continental U.S. states from December 2017 through March 2018; they then noted aggressive driving events (speeding, hard braking, or accelerating), their frequency, the amount of time between each event, and the vehicle’s speed when each event occurred. From their findings, these are the top 10 (worst) states for aggressive driving:

State Minutes Between Events Average Speed
 1. California 6.6

39

 2. Connecticut 8.2 36
 3. Georgia 8.2 44
 4. Texas 8.3 42
 5. North Carolina 8.6 41
 6. New Jersey 8.7 36
 7. Delaware 8.9 34
 8. Florida 8.9 39
 9. Kentucky 9.1 42
 10.  Arizona 9.4 44

Aggressive Driving – A Texas Tradition?

Here in Texas, our term for aggressive driving is – plain-and-simple – Road Rage!  Our local Houston Chronicle described the situation back in 2012:

From fender benders to fatalities, from fists flying to guns blazing, enraged drivers in the greater Houston area have caused more than 900 motor vehicle accidents that injured hundreds and killed five over the last five years, according to crash data from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Road-rage crashes across Texas peak during evening rush hour, with nearly one out of four occurring between 4 and 7 p.m. Most of the time, angry men are involved, and the most commonly used vehicle is a truck.

From Rage to Remedy

So, how do we keep Houston streets and freeways from becoming a never-ending performance of Mad Max? Don’t take the emotional bait tossed at you by an “aggressive driver” – and if it gets serious, let the cops take care of the matter.

Here are some tips from the DPS:

  • Don’t let your emotions get the best of you, and don’t take out your frustrations on other drivers.
  • Plan ahead and allow plenty of time for delays. We’re talking Houston here, where traffic delays are part of everyday life.
  • Focus on your own driving. Yelling, honking your horn, or pounding on the steering wheel won’t make traffic move any faster and is bound to upset someone – eventually. And here in Texas, you never know which hothead driver may be armed.

Be a cautious, considerate driver. Don’t provoke others behind the wheel.

  • Don’t tailgate or flash your lights at other drivers
  • If you’re in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them.
  • Use your horn sparingly.

If you do encounter an angry driver, don’t make things worse by triggering a confrontation.

  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Give angry drivers all the room they want. Get off that particular road if you must.
  • Keep your hand and facial gestures to yourself.
  • If a raging driver makes you concerned for your safety, call 9-1-1.

Aggressive drivers pose a number of threats to other motorists. If you or a loved one has been injured by an aggressive driver, contact the attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to schedule a free consultation.