Social Question

Charles's avatar

Does "Aggressive Driver" equal "Aggressive Personality"?

Asked by Charles (4815points) May 7th, 2012

Ever been with an aggressive driver who sort of unnerves you when they drive? Are they also aggressive in the home or office or outside of the car?

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29 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Nah. F1 drivers drive very aggressively, but they are not aggressive people.

JLeslie's avatar

I would say not always. Sometimes they just enjoy driving fast. Also, angry driver is different than aggressive driver. Although, the aggressive drivers I know seem to not care if they cause an accident in their unpredictability on the road. They usually say, “if the other driver is not a good driver, that is their problem.” They have a lack of “social consciousness” on the road all too often.

Blackberry's avatar

I’m a typical nice guy who is usually a pushover, but I admit I drive very aggressively. If I pissed someone off and they followed me, I would apologize profusely, lol.

I don’t believe in saying “people who do x are also x”.

@JLeslie is correct that there’s a difference. I wouldn’t like to admit that I enjoy driving fast, because people will see you as an apathetic loose cannon who doesn’t care about my life or the lives of others, when that’s simply not true.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry But, isn’t it true you rely on other drivers being competent? I know we all do that to some extent, but fast drivers do it too much in my opinion.

thorninmud's avatar

In the context of driving, “aggressive” can mean very different things. You can be “aggressive” in testing the physical limits of the driving conditions, working the outer edges of the safety margins. You can be “aggressive” in asserting your own will over others’ on the road, never letting people merge, cutting in to the head of lines, etc. You can be “aggressive” in reacting angrily to the behavior of others.

Clearly, some of those forms of driving aggressively reflect a fundamental way of relating to other people. If that’s the case, then I’m pretty sure you’ll see evidence of that same way of relating in off-road dealings as well.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie Yes. For example: if I’m speeding past some cars on the left lane on the highway, and I come upon a car in front of me that is just cruising next to another car, not allowing me to pass, I’m either going to tailgate that person a bit until they move, or I’ll make a manuever around both cars if I have the opportunity.

The person in front of me should just know to pass left and stay right. When I’m done speeding in the left lane, I move, so why can’t other people?

Cruiser's avatar

I am a very good driver and I love to drive “efficiently” and all these texters, yappers, dazed and confused and medicated drivers get in the way and simply slow me down. So if wanting to drive the speed limit despite an endless parade of completely out of it driver qualifies me as aggressive than I accept that award. Outside of driving I am a type A personality who can be impatient but I would not paint me as aggressive at all.

jca's avatar

“Aggressive” driving means different things to different people. When I’m in a rush and someone’s in the left lane, like @Blackberry said, I would really like to have that person move over, and will drop them some hints (coming up close, brights flashing a few times) and hope they comprehend. Sometimes people are stubborn or stupid and it can be very frustrating.

Blackberry's avatar

@Cruiser I never thought of someone being the opposite way, lol. You drive very conservatively, but are aggressive in the office :)

john65pennington's avatar

Aggresive drivers can come into two categories.

1. An aggresive defensive driver or…
2. An aggresive-rage driver

Both are above average in the ability to either drive defensively or to drive in an aggresive-rage manner.

I have dealt with both, involved in traffic accidents.

I have always discovered that an aggresive-rage driver also had an aggresive personality. This has been the reason and cause of many accidents before, during and after the police arrive. Some drivers go into “fits”, especially if they are not at-fault.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Well, first I am very upset you tailgate! If you can get around safely get around. If someone is in the left lane ahead of you driving slower than you want to go, give them a flash of the hi beams when they have a reasonable opening to get right. I know a lot of drivers are total idiots about getting over when flashed, but most do abide by the signal. Some of it matters what city you live in.

Here in Memphis seem to have never learned the left lane is for passing, and to stay right, I can’t explain that.

Your maneuver to get around in your example if the car in front won’t get over, my question is, did you signal before going to the right? Did you do it suddenly and unexpectadely so the guy on the right could not predict your action? The problem with slower or distracted drivers is they tend to not think like fast drivers at all. If I saw you darting around in my rearview mirror as you approached me, or even just going much faster than traffic, I can already estimate with accuracy the opportunities you are going to take to go around slower traffic. I know where you are going to change lanes, because I can do it myself, I can weave through traffic at high speeds, but many slower driver can’t predict your moves, they are easily startled, and might swerve or brake unsafely because of your aggressive behavior.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie I apologize :(

Yeah, I signal first before I decide to go around cars. That would make a difference between me being a reckless driver and just an aggressive driver I guess, lol.

You have a point about people being startled as well. When I was 23 or 24, I was going really fast on a wide, open road. I came upon a single car cruising along at 50, and I was doing 80. I’m obviously not going to viciously ram into the back of this car, but I guess they saw me coming pretty fast and assumed I wasn’t paying attention, so they started to brake, then pull onto the side of the road into the grass.

I felt bad after that because it wasn’t necessary for them to do that. I would’ve slowed down or passed them.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Yeah, they just don’t know what to do, and don’t trust you being the speed demon. There is room for faster and slower drivers on the highways, both just need to not be extreme and stick to the rules of the road, like slower drivers stay right. My husband once cut someone off, well I feel he cut them off, he did have room to go over though, and the other driver swerved to the right hit the curb and crashed. My husband didn’t care, this is years ago, saying the other driver did not need to brake or swerve. It was true, he did not need to brake or swerve, but he was startled and crashed. In your case letting up on the gas a little so you did not appraoch the other car so fast would have avoided him going off to the side. In my opinion all of us need to “share” the road reasonable, understanding not everyone drives at the same level, but agressive drivers tend to drive like they own the road.

Yesterday I had a woman practically on top of my car at a stop sign. She was behind me, so close to the back of my car that if I moved a few inches backwards we would have hit. If I had been in my Porsche, there is a good chance I would have touched her bumper, but luckily in my VW the car holds for a second before rolling backwards. I turned around kind of waving her back, and she slammed on her horn, gave me the finger, yelled something I could not hear, all while her phone was to one ear in one hand. She is completely clueless that some of us still drive manual cars, we were on a hill, and she doesn’t give a shit about keeping a safe distance when stopping. She probably is an agressive angry driver in general. She doesn’t care about the rules or advise for the road, that I find bothersome.

I say drive fast when it is safe and you don’t rely heavily on the responsible reactions of others. Americans are often way too distracted while driving, we can’t trust the other drivers. Also, generally, slower drivers tend to be less aware of the traffic around them (sometimes I am that driver). Fast drivers know where traffic is, first of all they just pases the traffic, they probably are not sipping coffee while driving 80 miles an hour, while weaving in and out of traffic, the mindset is very different.

Blackberry's avatar

“she slammed on her horn, gave me the finger, yelled something I could not hear, all while her phone was to one ear in one hand.”

She most likely is an aggressive driver and human, lol. I would never think of doing something like that.

Yeah, my mindset is different when I drive, I’m completely focused and never touch my phone, and I’m always looking ahead (or at a rearview mirror etc).

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Yeah, you just drive fast basically, and want people to get out of your way. I get it, believe me. I think they should get out of your way, but I also think you need to be aware of the other person’s limitations and inexperience and sometimes incompetence.

GladysMensch's avatar

It’s not that I’m an aggressive driver… it’s that everyone driving slower than me is an idiot.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie So, this is interesting. I was just driving home, and there’s a road I’ve been driving on for the 4 years I’ve been here. It’s a long straight road with dotted yellow lines. I passed three cars and kept going, but then I get to the red light (which I would’ve made by the way, if I didn’t get trapped behind someone else), and one of the guys I passed proceeds to tell me that I didn’t get anywhere faster and I’m an asshole. This is a valid point (not the asshole part). But then he tells me I’m the people that get others killed and I’m the reason why he’s afraid to put his kids on the road.

This would make sense if: I was going 100–80MPH instead of 55–60, or, if the coast wasn’t clear and I decided to risk passing three cars with oncoming traffic (which there wasn’t).

I was legally able to pass, so I did. Is it just because I went faster that I’m an asshole?

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry The way I look at it is if you passed carefully and legally no problem. Leaving proper distance signalling and doing it only on a straight where oncoming traffic is easily observed. I actually even agree you sometimes do get somewhere faster than the next guy because you make the light at times. Did you pass three cars at once? I think that is a no no, might depend on the state. I was taught one car at a time. If the law is one car at a time, and you passed three at once, that might have been what he was referring to? You broke a traffic law to go fast. Or, he might be a timid driver, and people who drive much faster might freak him out. I have no idea for sure.

Some people just are not in any rush at all. Things as simple as going immediately on a left arrow. In DC metro area you better be ready with your foot above the gas for the second that green left turning arrow comes on, because if it is expected 4 cars can only get through, the fourth car had better make it or people are pissed! Or, when there are two left truning lanes and the two are not equally filled and one line winds up blocking into the regular straight moving left lane. If the left turning lanes had been equally filled all traffic would move better, and on the other side of the left turning light the traffic could remerge, but the trick is getting everyone through the lights, as many cars as possible. Some people fail to think like this. Some cities it is much more a common way of practice.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah, I passed three at once.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry If it is the state you live in, I think I remember where you live, I just looked it up and could not find a specific rule for passing only one at a time, but in one of the neighboring states in the area it might be against the law, so the driver may have perceived it as very aggressive and unsafe. I can’t know for sure. Changing lanes should not be done near interesections, which is why lines usually change to solid near intersections. Not to mention people should not change to the right lane on an interstate near an entrance for cars entering the highway.

Again, traffic needs to be able to estimate what all drivers are going to do with a reasonable guess. If you were three cars back and approaching in the left lane, the lane actually for traffic going the other direction, it might be extremely unexpected for that first driver in line to see you suddenly to his left overtaking you and moving in front of him. If you had been behind him, he would have been more likely to see you doing the entire process, being behind him, moving to the left and then overtaking him.

jca's avatar

George Carlin once said, “Anybody that drives slower than you is an idiot. ‘This guy’s an idiot.’ The guy that drives faster than you is a maniac. ‘Look at that maniac!’”

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry I looked up NY law, because in my memory my dad was the one who taught me to pass one car at a time, and he learned to drive in NY initially I think. Here in the NY manual under mountain road passing it mentions one car at a time. In general most of the handbooks mention alerting the driver you are passing, and being very sure to have a safe distance when returning to the lane. I think there is sort of an assumption that drives on two way roads are not very aware of cars traveling the wrong way in the lane next to them, so being extremely cautious is the recommendation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Asshole on the road=asshole in real life.

I think there is a difference between simply driving fast and driving aggressively.

ucme's avatar

Nah, it equals a cowardly tosspot hiding behind the wheel in a pool of his own piss.

Blackberry's avatar

@ucme Can you translate your sentence into American English for me, please? Lol.

ragingloli's avatar

translation: ”Nah, it equals a cowardly american hiding behind the wheel in a pool of his own piss. :P

ucme's avatar

@Blackberry For example, if I were driving now i’d say something along these lines….....“Stop saying lol all the time you yankee piece of shit!”
You follow?

Blackberry's avatar

Hahaha! I follow. Thanks guys.

Paradox25's avatar

Yes, I do find that there is a correlation here myself. It would only make sense that aggressive people would be aggressive in various aspects of their lives.

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