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Avoiding Holiday Road Rage

The holidays bring joy and cheer, but they can also lead to increased stress and aggression behind the wheel. According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year. Approximately eight million US drivers engaged in more extreme examples of road rage, including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out to the car to confront another driver. With a record 97 million people driving to their holiday destination, AAA warns drivers to avoid aggression when behind the wheel this holiday season.

“The holidays can be stressful with drivers filling shopping center parking lots or battling congested highways on a road trip,” said Cathleen Lewis, Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations for AAA Northeast. “Minor frustrations have the potential to turn deadly if drivers act on their anger. Travelers should be sure to pack their patience and remember to be respectful when behind the wheel this holiday season.

AAA offers the following tips to help drivers prevent road rage this holiday season:

  • 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 9-1-1 if needed.
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