U. S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NHTSA People Saving People
DOT HS 808 705

April 1998





Detailed Findings

General Discussion

Specific Issues



List of Tables
1 Composition of Beltway Driver Groups
2 How Participants Use the Beltway
3 Perceived Causes of Beltway Crashes
4 Perceived Causes of Beltway Crashes - Commercial Drivers
5 Responses to Aggressiveness Screening Questions

List of Figures
1 Questionnaire Responses - General vs. Aggressive Drivers

Aggressive Drivers

A general consensus among participants of what driver's meant by the term "aggressive driving" was not exactly clear, but included actions such as weaving in and out of traffic to get ahead, tailgating, excessive speed and conflicts with other motorists.

Suggestions to help solve the aggressive driver problem include the following items:

  • Photo imaging aggressive drivers (two groups "invented" this without knowing about Maryland's plans)
  • More enforcement campaigns like "Smooth Operator"
  • More law enforcement presence on the road
  • More law enforcement vehicles cruising, fewer stopped on the shoulder
  • More emphasis on unsafe driving, less on speed and minor violations
  • Tougher sanctions on repeat violators

The following suggestions were made to counter unsafe lane changing:

  • More law enforcement presence (including enforcement solutions recommended above)
  • "Keep Right" education and enforcement
  • PI&E on dangers of unsafe lane changes
  • Courtesy campaigns

More highly structured questions were asked of the groups on a number of topics of specific interest to the Capital Beltway Safety Team. Since the volume of issues to be covered exceeded the time available in each group, some topics were not discussed in all groups. The key findings on each topic are shown below: