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Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Road Rage Leads to More Road Rage
How serious is road rage? A recent national survey reveals that a solid one-half of drivers who are victims of violent driving conduct expose themselves to dangerous confrontation by responding with violent behavior of their own, rather than defensive driving techniques.
According to "Response Insurance National Driving Habits Survey" released by car insurer Response Insurance, 50% of drivers who are tailgated, cut off, or given the finger respond with yelling, cutting-off, honking, and obscene gestures of their own.
The survey shows that 34% of drivers report that they honk their horn at the provoker, 27% shout, 19% return the obscene gesture, 17% flash their headlights, and 7% imitate the original aggressive driving behavior. 2% of drivers confess to attempting to run the antagonist off the road.
"Road rage is a two-way street," said Ray Palermo, director of public relations for Response Insurance. "It takes two people to fight. So, if you are subjected to aggressive driving, often the best way to ensure it does not get any worse is to just ignore it."
The survey revealed that men are more likely than women to respond aggressively, (54% vs. 46%), as well as drivers age 18-24 (67%) compared to drivers 65 and older (30%). Drivers with children are more likely to respond inappropriately (59%) versus those without offspring (45%), and cell phone users (59%) compared to those who do not use a cell phone while driving (39%).
Here are a few tips to help avoid engaging aggressive drivers:
- Stay calm. Driving is not a competitive sport. Focus on getting to where you’re going safely.
- It takes two drivers to road rage. Don’t let yourself get suckered into a confrontation.
- Always use your turn signal so you don’t take other drivers by surprise when you turn. The survey reveals that 57% of drivers do not use their turn signal when changing lanes.
- Make sure you have enough room when you merge onto a highway.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Don’t drive slower than the flow if you are in the left lane. If you want to drive slower, move to the right lane so others can pass you.
- If another driver is showing signs of road rage, slow down and avoid them.