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Holiday Road Rage & What You Can Do to Avoid It

Holiday Road Rage & What You Can Do to Avoid It

Aggressive driving is a problem that occurs everywhere. People can have a bad day and take it out on the road, or they can get stuck in traffic for long periods of time, which can test their patience. Now that it’s the holidays, traffic is going to be a lot worse and in turn, there will be more aggressive drivers on the roads than usual.

From Thanksgiving traffic to crowded mall parking lots to highly-congested traffic areas around shopping centers, the traffic is always worse during the holidays because so many people are out shopping, attending holiday parties, and taking road trips to see family.

As a result of more drivers on the roads, aggressive driving increases during the holiday season, which makes it more dangerous for motorists. To avoid aggressive drivers and holiday road rage, follow the following advice.

Aggressive Driving Defined

You’ve probably encountered aggressive driving before and there’s a good chance that you’ve been guilty of it yourself. According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving is very common in the United States. The study found that 80 percent of drivers admitted to expressing aggression, significant anger or road rage while driving in the previous year.

“Previous research by the AAA Foundation found that from 2003 to 2007, over half of fatal crashes involved at least one driver who performed a potentially aggressive action,” according to AAA. In fact, aggressive driving is so serious that AAA considers it to be a “major cause of concern for many road users.”

Aggressive driving refers to unsafe driving behaviors that are performed with ill intentions or the disregard for safety. Here are some examples of aggressive driving:

  • Tailgating
  • Speeding even though the traffic is heavy
  • Cutting in front of drivers and then slowing down
  • Blowing through red lights
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Making lane changes without using turn signals
  • Blocking a car that is attempting to pass
  • Blocking a car that is attempting to change lanes
  • Using your brakes to punish another driver
  • Using your headlights to punish another driver

Road rage is an escalated form of aggressive driving. It involves cursing, using obscene gestures, throwing objects at other cars, ramming, sideswiping, and forcing other drivers off the road – all of these behaviors can increase during the holidays because there are so many more people on the roads, decreasing people’s patience behind the wheel.

What You Can Do About Road Rage

As you’re on the road this holiday season, mentally prepare yourself for road rage. You may very well see people displaying aggressive behaviors and things that you can’t comprehend doing. Remember, it’s not personal and don’t respond like it is. Most of the time, aggressive drivers aren’t mad at you particularly, they’re just distracted, rushed, or upset.

To stay safe, follow these tips:

  • Use your turn signals
  • Maintain a safe following distance
  • Allow other drivers to merge
  • Leave early so you can better deal with congested roads and parking lots
  • Do not use rude hand gestures
  • When driving in parking lots, be considerate and be careful not to hit cars parked next to you with your door
  • Avoiding making eye contact with an angry driver
  • If someone confronts you, remain calm and be courteous if possible
  • If you feel like a driver is threatening you, call 911 immediately
  • If someone with road rage is targeting you, do not respond and contact 911 if you feel it’s necessary to protect yourself

Next: In a Car Accident? Take This Advice!


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