From 2003 through 2007, a total of 192,069 fatal crashes occurred in the United States, resulting in the deaths of 212,997 people. In 456 of these crashes, no information was available about any driver involved. These crashes were excluded from the analyses reported here. Thus, analyses reported here are based on the remaining 191,611 fatal crashes, which involved 289,659 drivers, and resulted in the deaths of 212,427 people.
Figure 1 shows the percentage of fatal crashes in which each potentially-aggressive action (from the previous list) was coded for at least one involved driver. Overall, in 84,884 of these fatal crashes (44.3%), none of the potentially-aggressive actions was reported; in 90,638 crashes (47.3%) one such action was reported; in 15,044 crashes (7.9%) two of these actions were reported; and in 1,045 crashes (0.5%) three or four of these actions were reported. In total, 106,727 fatal crashes from 2003 through 2007 (55.7%) involved at least one driver who was coded as having committed at least one potentially-aggressive action.
Im proper passing
Im proper following
Improper or erratic lane changing
Illegal driving on shoulder, ditch, sidewalk, or median
Speeding was the most common potentially-aggressive action by far; nearly one of every three fatal crashes over the period studied involved a driver who was reported to have been exceeding the speed limit and/or driving too fast for conditions.
Reckless / Careless / Erratic Driving
Failure to obey traffic signs, traffic control devices, etc.
Figure 1. Percentage of fatal crashes involving potentially-aggressive driver actions, FARS 2003 – 2007.
Making improper turn
Failure to observe warnings or instructions on vehicle
Failure to signal
Speeding (over limit or too fast for
conditions) Failure to yield right of way
Half of the fatal crashes (53,358, 50.0%) coded as involving potentially-aggressive actions were single-vehicle crashes; 45,021 (42.2%) involved two vehicles, and 8,348 (7.8%) involved three or more vehicles. Of the 45,021 two-vehicle crashes, potentially-aggressive actions were coded for only one of the drivers in 94.5 percent of these crashes and for both drivers in 5.5
© 2009, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety