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AAA Chicago: Sixty Percent of Motorists Admit to Losing their Temper While Driving


AURORA, Ill.--Aggressive driving kills, says AAA Chicago. More than half of fatal car crashes involve some form of aggressive driving—speeding, running another driver off the road, tailgating or yelling obscenities.

A 2008 survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 80 percent of respondents consider aggressive drivers to be a serious traffic safety problem. However, many of those same people said they drive aggressively. Relatively minor driving infractions—changing lanes without signaling, following too closely, driving too slowly, honking at other drivers—can easily escalate into potentially deadly altercations. Not every incident turns violent, but 60 percent of motorists admit losing their temper while driving—also known as road rage.

AAA recommendations to avoid aggressive driving:

Don’t offend

  • Signal when changing lanes and merging. Avoid cutting off other drivers.
  • Do not drive slowly in the left lane. If faster traffic wants to pass, move to the right lane.
  • Allow a two to four second space between your car and the vehicle ahead of you to prevent tailgating.
  • Keep your hands on the wheel. Obscene gestures often incite other drivers.

Don’t engage

  • Do not take other driver’s actions personally. There may be a reason why another driver is speeding or driving erratically.
  • Give aggressive drivers lots of space.
  • Avoid eye contact with aggressive drivers.
  • Get help. If possible, drive to a safe public place where you can park and call police. Going to your home leads a potentially violent person to where you live.
  • Do not get out of your car.

Adjust your behavior

  • Forget winning; driving is not a contest.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Eliminate your need to rush.
  • Practice relaxation. Soothing music and deep breathing help you arrive at your destination in a calmer frame of mind.
  • If you find yourself driving angrily on a regular basis, ask for help. An anger management course may dramatically change your attitude.

For more information, visit
http://www.aaafoundation.org/multimedia/index.cfm?button=ADupdatePR.