How to avoid hostile behavior on the road
Road rage happens when aggressive driving mixes with anger, and the results could be deadly. In fact, aggressive driving contributes to more than half of fatal crashes, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. And in a new AAA study, almost 80% of drivers surveyed said they expressed significant anger behind the wheel at least once in the past year.
What Did the Study Find?
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied aggressive driving as part of its annual Traffic Safety Culture Index. Researchers surveyed 2,705 licensed drivers aged 16 and older. Nearly half of those drivers admitted to the following actions:
What Can You Do?
- When switching lanes, first check that you have space, then use your signal.
- Move to the right if you’re driving more slowly than surrounding traffic.
- Avoid tailgating, and slow down if you’re following too closely.
- Steer clear of speeding, tailgating, and otherwise aggressive drivers.
- Avoid making eye contact with angry drivers; they may see it as a challenge.
- Contact the police if a situation escalates and becomes serious.
Don’t get angry
- Don’t take another driver’s actions personally.
- Let go of your pride. “Winning” is not worth risking your safety.
- Seek professional help if you think you have a serious behavioral issue.
Information taken from “Prevalence of Self-Reported Aggressive Driving Behavior: United States, 2014,” AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, July 15, 2016.