PennDoT reminds motorists to avoid aggressive driving behaviors as the holiday season approaches

Aaron Mee
November 9, 2022

The northwest region of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to avoid all aggressive driving habits and to always buckle up prior to the start of the holiday season. With aggressive driving behaviors continuing to be common factors in crashes along Pennsylvania’s roadways, in 2021 there were 6,206 aggressive driving crashes across the state, resulting in 126 fatalities. PennDoT’s District 1, which includes Warren county, recorded 358 aggressive driving crashes and nine fatalities.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies aggressive driving crashes as those involving at least two aggressive driving factors in the same crash.Some of those factors include speeding, tailgating slower vehicles, illegal passing, weaving in and out of traffic, running stop signs and red lights, and failing to yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles.

These behaviors put drivers, their passengers, and other people on the road in danger. To deter motorists from dangerous driving habits, the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and local police departments are participating in an aggressive driving enforcement wave that began on October 24, 2022, and runs through Sunday, November 13, 2022. During this period, law enforcement personnel are on the lookout for aggressive drivers with a special emphasis on tailgating motorists, school bus safety, the revised Move Over Law, and excessive speeding.

According to PennDoT, wearing a seat belt is the single most effective thing drivers can do to keep themselves safe and secure inside their vehicle, even increasing their chances of surviving a crash by up to 60 percent, a “Click It or Ticket” mobilization to promote seat belt use begins on Monday, November 14, 2022, and runs through Sunday, November 27, 2022. Throughout the campaign, state and municipal police officers will conduct traffic enforcement zones and roving patrols to encourage seat belt usage and fine those found not following the laws. According to PennDoT data, there were 605 crashes in the northwest region last year involving unbelted drivers, which led to 33 fatalities.

Air bags alone are not enough to protect drivers in the event of a crash, as the force of an air bag can seriously injure or kill someone if they are not buckled up. To properly buckle up, PennDoT has provided the following tips:

  • The lap belt and shoulder belt should be secured across the pelvis and rib cage to better withstand crash forces.
  • The shoulder belt should be across the middle the chest and away from the neck.
  • The lap belt should rest across the hips, not the stomach.
  • Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.

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