With the holiday weekend coming up and many families taking driving vacations or simply staying near home on staycations, its worth giving a little extra thought to driver safety. Sadly, if you plan to stay in or near Atlanta this weekend you may have something more than fireworks shows to worry about, and that something is road rage.
Atlanta earned the dubious distinction of being one of the nation’s top five leading road rage cities in a survey conducted by AutoVantage, a national auto club. We found ourselves keeping company with three northern cities and one neighbor to the west on the following list:
1.) New York
2.) Dallas/Ft. Worth
5.) Minneapolis/St. Paul
AutoVantage came up with these numbers after surveying drivers in 25 major metropolitan areas during the first three months of this year and compiling the ranked list based on reports of angry and aggressive drivers. For the purposes of the survey, angry drivers included drivers who overreact and lose their tempers while aggressive drivers included drivers who cut into lines, honk, speed and tailgate.
The survey also compiled some data we can all learn from, such as what causes road rage and which types of drivers are most likely to fall victim of a case of road rage.
The study concluded that the behaviors most likely to incite road rage include:
1.) Talking on a cell phone
2.) Texting or emailing
3.) Driving too fast
5.) Eating or drinking while driving
6.) Cutting over without notice
7.) Slamming on the brakes
8.) Running red lights
9.) Multitasking (such as putting on makeup, shaving or reading)
Further, the people most likely to engage in road rage inducing behaviors are young people or people with long commutes. They admitted to the survey takers that they were more likely to talk on cell phones or drive too fast on a regular basis.
The study also identified some major causes of road rage, which included:
1.) Witnessing bad or careless driving from others
2.) Anger or frustration
3.) Running late or being in a hurry
4.) Experiencing traffic problems or road construction
5.) Witnessing drivers who “think they own the road”
Some tips for avoiding the urge to rage include allowing yourself plenty of time for your trip, listening to soothing music, and, of course, giving other drivers the benefit of the doubt and assuming that their mistakes are not directed at you. If you experience road rage from others, it’s key to remain calm and in control. Extreme reactions can just compound the chain of road rage and lead to more incidents or even an accident.
The best way to curb road rage is to begin with your own habits and be a careful, safe and courteous driver. If you are not yet following all the rules of courteous driving, why not start this 4th of July weekend?
Interested in more road rage statistics? Visit this website to see the full AutoVantage report and read more road rage statistics. (Warning, the link leads to a PDF that may open slowly on some machines.)