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AAA warns of aggressive driving, offers advice for dealing with road rage

A message from AAA:

Charlotte – Tensions could be higher than normal on the roadways this holiday season, due to the combination of everyday stress, the pandemic and the holiday season itself. AAA urges motorists to keep their cool and offers tips to avoid aggressive driving behaviors that could escalate into road rage.

“A driver could react wrongly to another driver’s action on any given day – the holidays can add to the stress of that,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Introduce the pressures and concerns tied to a pandemic and even calmest, most safety-conscious drivers can find themselves frustrated by other motorists.”

According to a new AAA survey, nearly 8 in 10 (79%) American drivers admitted to aggressive behaviors within the past 30 days. The most common actions were:

• 48% – Speeding (driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a crowded freeway)

• 34% – Tailgating (following a vehicle in front of you closely to prevent another vehicle from merging)

• 32% – Making rude gestures or honking at other drivers

• 31% – Running a red light

• 26% – Aggressive driving: switching lanes quickly or drove very close behind another car

Tips to Discourage Aggressive Driving

• If you remain calm and courteous behind the wheel, this lowers your risk of an unpleasant encounter with another driver and law enforcement.

• Follow posted speed limits.

• Maintain an adequate following distance.

• Use turn signals.

• Allow others to merge.

• Use your high beams responsibly.

• Be considerate in parking lots – park in one spot, not across multiple spaces. Be careful not to hit cars next to you with your door.

Tips for Dealing with a Road Rage Encounter

• Avoid eye contact.

• If you are confronted, stay as calm and courteous as possible.

• Don’t respond to aggression with aggression.

• If you feel threatened, call 911.

• If you feel at risk, drive to a public place such as a police station, hospital or fire station.

• When you park, allow room so you can pull out safely if someone approaches you aggressively.

• Use your horn to attract attention but remain in your locked vehicle.

For more information, visit www.aaa.com/preventroadrage