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May 10th, 2021

Aggressive Driving

It is May! I normally would say that we are all happy that the warm weather is here, Spring is in full bloom, and we are all getting ready for the higher temperatures. But as I write this, I am sitting in Denver, and there is snow forecasted for this evening. Oh well…

Today I am going to write a little different topic. I did something this morning that I rarely do.

I picked up my cell phone while driving.

And broke the speed limit.

What drove me to this dire circumstance was the following scenario.

I am in the right lane on the freeway, doing 65. There is a vehicle in front of me, two in the left lane, all doing 65. The driver of the next vehicle in the left lane did not take kindly to the commuters doing the speed limit. Once the driver was able to get past all of this traffic due to a break where they could barely squeeze around, the driver proceeds to straddle the two lanes and brake check everyone… and does this multiple times.

I made it my mission in life to get a picture of the car's license plate. I was able to SAFELY get around traffic, speed up and take a picture. I then proceeded to work, called highway patrol and reported an aggressive driver.

The point of telling you all this story is multifaceted:
  1. Do not block the left lane, regardless of what your speed is and the speed limit. Several states actually have laws prohibiting blocking the left lane or using it for anything other than passing.
  2. Aggressive driving creates safety hazards, not only to you, but to others. If the drivers of the vehicles that had been brake checked had not been paying enough attention or were following too closely, a chain reaction could ensue.
  3. You can report aggressive drivers in every state. This is not usually a case to call 911 unless your evaluation of the aggressive driver warrants it. Each state maintains a database of aggressive driver complaints.
  4. What is really intriguing is that this driver could have chosen to break the law by going into the HOV lane to pass, which was completely clear, but apparently felt that putting the safety of other motorists in jeopardy to prove a point was more important.
Just because you are dissatisfied with the driving behavior of another motorist, it does not warrant you "taking matters into your own hands." If they are not driving to your standards, move away from them. I am well aware that it can be frustrating to put up with the behavior od other motorists, but we cannot allow that to push us to create an unsafe situation. We have all seen the stories of road rage gone bad, and we have even experienced that within our own company in the past year.

Be good humans! Talk to you all soon.

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Jason Sprinkle, CSP, CIT
Director of Safety, Director of Fleet
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