Saturday, May 30, 2009

60 Percent of Motorists Admit to Losing Their Temper While Driving

/PRNewswire/ -- Aggressive driving kills, says AAA Michigan. 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 and your loved ones 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.

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