Check before you wreck

driving wheel Failure to yield, rear-ending another vehicle, and sideswiping a parked car are all examples of claims we see that may be the result of aggressive driving, one of the leading causes of automobile accidents today.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests you ask yourself and your employees the following questions about driving behavior. Do you:
  • Express frustration? Taking out your frustration on your fellow motorist can lead to violence or a crash.
  • Fail to pay attention when driving? Reading, eating, drinking, or talking on the phone can cause crashes.
  • Tailgate? Following too closely is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious injuries or death.
  • Make frequent lane changes? If you whip in and out of lanes, you can be a danger to other motorists.
  • Run red lights? Don’t enter an intersection on a yellow light. Treat a flashing red light as a stop sign.
  • Speed? If you’re going faster than the posted speed limit, “road racing,” or going too fast for conditions, you’re speeding.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you too might be an aggressive driver. Try following these recommendations.
  • Plan ahead: Allow yourself extra time.
  • Concentrate: Don’t get distracted by talking on your cell phone, eating, or drinking.
  • Relax: Tune the radio to your favorite relaxing music. Be sure to sit up straight so you don’t relax too much.
  • Drive the posted speed limit: Fewer crashes occur when vehicles are traveling at or about the same speed.
  • Identify alternative routes: Even if an alternate route looks longer, it may be less congested.
  • Just be late: If all else fails, just be late.
  • When confronted with aggressive drivers:
    • Get out of the way: First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of their way.
    • Put your pride aside: Don’t challenge aggressive drivers by speeding up or refusing to let them into your lane.
    • Avoid eye contact: Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
    • Don’t gesture: Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
    • Report serious aggressive driving: You or a passenger may call the police. If you use a cellphone, pull over to a safe location.
driving wheel
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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