DRIVER ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOR
FOR THOUGHT...WHAT DO YOU THINK?
DMV technicians have the ability
to refer a driver to re-testing for the lack of necessary
motor skills, driving knowledge or vision to safely operate
a motor vehicle. A driver referred for review may be given
a driver test and /or asked to have a doctor assess and
evaluate their medical condition. Just last year alone,
roughly 30,000 drivers had their licenses suspended or
revoked for mental and physical conditions. Roughly 1/2
of those evaluated had their driving privileges limited
due to conditions such as loss of consciousness, Alzheimers,
inadequate physical skills or simple lack of knowledge.
As has been widely reported, America's population is aging,
placing more and more seniors on our roads.
Should we do away with "by mail" renewals
of driver's licenses? Do our skills erode as we age? Should
the DMV have the ability to limit our privileges based
strictly on a one-time mental lapse or a bad period of
driving or are they saving lives in the process? What
do you think?
B. Recognition of Emotional
/ Physical Factors - Fighting fatigue while behind
the wheel is never advisable. Driving while irritated,
upset or shaken, will substantially alter one's judgment
when behind the wheel. The angry driver is the aggressive
offensive driver, and as a result the dangerous driver.
Stressful conditions involving personal or business life
will affect safe driving and should be recognized as
negative influences on driving habits. The driver should
evaluate their state of mind before attempting the operation
of a motor vehicle and should not drive when heightened
stress, anger, emotions or fatigue are realized. When
emotions are exaggerated or heightened, limiting driving
activities can help decrease potential collisions and
C. Effects -
The safe operation of a motor vehicle requires a person
to be focused while behind the wheel, uncluttered by thoughts
of aggravation and distress. The driver with a wandering
mind caused by any one of the aforementioned effects has
a decreased awareness of the road, a slower reaction time,
and an overall lack of safe driving habits. This driver
is more apt to make unsafe lane changes, speed, and take
chances on the road. The ability to anticipate and determine
upcoming hazards and conditions is also adversely effected.
D. Accident Potential -
It is statistically proven that the emotionally distressed
or fatigued driver is more apt to be involved in a traffic
collision than is someone who is rested and clear-headed.
A tired or disturbed driver or one with a cluttered mind
has a decreased ability to avoid an automobile crash. Keep
distractions within the vehicle to a minimum (i.e., children,
pets, car phones, etc.) and never drive when drowsy or
tired. Remember to concentrate on the road, not other matters.
E. Drivers' Attitude Towards
State Driving Laws - Motor vehicle operators often
look upon traffic laws with disdain. People stress the
negative aspects of laws rather than the positive. Traffic
laws are in place to save lives. Drivers must understand
that these laws are for their benefit. Without laws,
anarchy would reign supreme and the least of our troubles
would be driving. Drivers, on average, violate traffic
laws over 400 times before they are actually cited. The
occasional citation they do receive, in addition to their
participation in a traffic safety program, usually reminds
the driver that safer driving habits are needed.
Rage - "Road Rage", or aggressive driving
behavior, is a rapidly increasing problem affecting
America's drivers. This behavior is sometimes provoked
by the action of drivers when they tailgate, cut off
others on the road, or use rude hand gestures. In most
cases, however, road rage stems from the pre-existing
attitude or mood of the drivers prior to getting behind
the wheel. People often get into a vehicle when they
are stressed or angry, and then take out their problems
on others with aggressive driving behavior. Drivers
ignore the law, become discourteous, and have a basic
disregard for others, often causing collisions
or even fatalities. The preferred and suggested option
for those dealing with a situation of road rage is
to avoid the problem situation altogether and leave
the scene as quickly as possible. Do not allow another's
anger and ignorance effect you. The safest thing is
to use your own good sense and protect your life. Many
road rage killings result from a vehicle being used
as a weapon or drivers using guns against others on
Don't become a statistic...Don't
let road rage get to you!
disputes where one driver assaults or kills another have
risen 59% since 1990.