How do I respond to an aggressive truck driver?

Encountering an aggressive truck driver can be an especially terrifying experience. Not only are you worried about the inherent danger of driving around such a massive vehicle, but you must now deal with an aggressive driver as well.

Aggressive driving versus road rage

You may consider aggressive driving the same as road rage, but the two are different. Aggressive driving includes a spectrum of different careless driving behavior, such as speeding, tailgating other vehicles or weaving in and out of traffic.

Road rage is what happens at the extreme end of that spectrum and includes an intent to harm other drivers. Aggressive drivers might be driving recklessly but do not intend to cause harm to anyone else; they are usually simply trying to get where they are going quickly.

What causes aggressive driving?

Aggressive driving in the trucking industry is not a new problem. There are several classic causes of aggressive driving that remain a problem on Pennsylvania’s roads.

High traffic volume is one major cause. Aggressive driving tends to happen more often on roads known for high traffic volume or backups. Pennsylvania has many of these types of roads.

Truck drivers can be especially susceptible to driving aggressively in this type of situation because they are trying to meet a deadline. Drivers are usually under a lot of pressure to make their deadlines and drive aggressively to get ahead of other drivers on the road when they are behind schedule.

No matter how safely you drive, you are not likely to always be able to avoid aggressive truck drivers. Knowing how to behave around them is important and can reduce your chance of a truck accident.

Ignore the aggressive driver and stay away from them

It is best to let the truck driver pass you. Trucks should generally be driving in the right-hand lane and slower than smaller vehicles but if you are dealing with an aggressive truck driver, let them get ahead of you.

Do not engage with them by trying to match their speed, beeping your horn or otherwise trying to get their attention. Ignore them and avoid making eye contact.

If you cannot shake the aggressive truck driver no matter how hard you try and the driver continues to harass you, pull over to a safe place and let them go by.

Contact the police if you feel unsafe and give them any identifying information you have on the truck. Many trucks have the name of their company on the side or back of the vehicle. Consider contacting the company and reporting the unsafe driver.

Aggressive driving is often more than careless; it is negligent driving that makes a truck driver liable in a trucking accident. Your injuries as a truck accident victim are likely to be serious and aggressive truck drivers should be held accountable.