The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as occurring when "an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property."
Common aggressive driving behaviors include:
- Excessive speeding
- Weaving through traffic
- Failing to obey stop signs or traffic signals
Aggressive driving is often fueled by the following factors:
- Running late
- Delays in traffic
- Disregarding the law or other drivers
- Habitual or clinical behavior
Pennsylvania law enforcement work to take aggressive truck drivers off the road
Aggressive driving isn't only prevalent among commuters and other passenger car drivers, it often extends to people who operate big rigs on Pennsylvania roads. Commercial truck drivers are especially susceptible to aggressive driving. They spend more time on the road than most drivers and are often in a rush to make timely deliveries.
According to ABC16, Luzerne County police have begun cracking down on aggressive truck drivers as part of a pilot program funded by PennDOT. Hanover Township, in particular, has been identified as a "problem area."
This past summer, Officer Ryan Cywinski began inspecting tractor-trailer trucks and working to keep aggressive drivers off the road.
"We see a lot of trucks that are speeding, aggressive lane-changing, going through stop signs, yield signs, weaving in and out of traffic, weaving off of the road," said Cywinski.
Throughout the campaign, he has taken 10 illegal trucks and unqualified drivers off the road.
In addition to cracking down on aggressive truck drivers, police are also inspecting trucks for violations and ensuring that they are safe to operate.
Some truck drivers who are routinely stopped say they aren't the only ones to blame for aggressive driving.
"(Cars are) as aggressive if not more, wanting to cut you off, thinking you can stop on a dime, all them good fun things," said one trucker.
Truck accidents are a leading cause of fatalities and injuries in Pennsylvania
Unlike smaller passenger cars, large commercial trucks have the capability to injure or kill multiple road users in a single crash. That's because these massive vehicles can weigh up to 11,000 lbs. when fully loaded and can take the length of two football fields to stop when traveling on a high-speed roadway.
According to PennDOT's annual crash report:
- There were 6,807 truck crashes in Pennsylvania during 2017 — accounting for 5.3 percent of all statewide crashes.
- There 145 fatal truck crashes — accounting for 13.4 percent of all statewide fatal crashes.
- Approximately 2,860 truck crashes resulted in injuries — accounting for 4.9 percent of all statewide injurious crashes.
At the Law Offices of Edward P. McNelis, based in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, we know all too well how devastating truck crashes can be to those involved. We have more than three decades of experience representing drivers who were injured or lost a loved one due to a truck accident. Our case results speak for themselves. If you were hurt in a car or truck accident, contact us online to find out how we can help during these difficult times.