CHARLOTTE, NC (December 21, 2017) – The holidays bring joy and cheer, but can also lead to increased stress and aggression behind the wheel. As a record 2.8 million North Carolinians and 1.3 million South Carolinians prepare to hit the road for the year-end holiday period – Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan.1, – AAA Carolinas is warning drivers to avoid engaging in road rage.
“The holidays can be stressful as drivers head to busy shopping centers for that perfect gift or battle congested freeways while traveling,” said AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety president Tiffany Wright. “Minor frustrations have the potential to turn deadly if drivers act out their anger on the road. Travelers need to pack their patience and remember to be respectful behind the wheel this holiday season.”
According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage at least once in the past year. Approximately 8 million U.S. drivers engaged in more extreme examples of road rage, including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver.
From 2011 to 2015, there were 55,000 crashes in North Carolina, resulting in 1,401 traffic fatalities due to aggressive driving.
AAA Carolinas urges all drivers to follow these tips to prevent road rage:
- Don’t offend. Avoiding causing another driver to change their speed or direction. Also, do not force another driver to use their breaks or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
- Be tolerant of other drivers. Understand that the other driver may be having a bad day or be unfamiliar with the area. Don’t take their actions personally.
- Maintain the adequate following distance. Do not tailgate drivers even if they are going too slow.
- Allow others to merge.
- Use your turn signals.
- Use your high beams responsibly.
- Be considerate in parking lots.
- If another driver is aggressive toward you, avoid eye contact and remain calm. If you feel you are at risk, drive to a public place such as a police station or hospital.
- If you feel threatened, call 911.
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