CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 20, 2019) – As Carolinians gear up for holiday travels and one last weekend of holiday shopping, AAA Carolinas warns of the dangers of aggressive driving and engaging in road rage.
“The holidays can be stressful as drivers battle congested roadways and head to busy shopping centers in search of that last minute gift,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “Inconsiderate and aggressive driving can quickly escalate to road rage which can have damaging consequences, so it’s important to avoid these kinds of behavior behind the wheel.”
Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that approximately 8 million U.S. drivers engaged in extreme examples of road rage, including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver in the past year.
AAA encourages drivers to maintain a cool head, and focus on reaching their destination safely. AAA offers these tips to help prevent road rage:
Follow the rules of the road:
- Maintain adequate following distance. Don’t tailgate drivers even if you feel they are going too slow.
- Use turn signals.
- Allow others to merge.
- Use your high beams responsibly.
- Tap your horn if you must (but no long blasts).
- Be considerate in parking lots. Park in one spot, not across multiple. Be careful not to hit cars parked next to you with your door.
- Remaining calm and courteous behind the wheel lowers your risk of an unpleasant encounter – with another driver and with law enforcement.
- Avoid eye contact with angry drivers.
- Don’t respond to aggression with aggression.
- If you feel you are at risk, drive to a public place such as a police station, hospital or fire station.
- Use your horn to attract attention but remain in your locked vehicle.
- If you are confronted, stay as calm and courteous as possible.
- If you feel threatened, call 911.
- Do Not Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing another driver to use their brakes, or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
- Be Tolerant and Forgiving: The other driver may just be having a really bad day. Assume that it is not personal.
- Do not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 911 if needed.