Video soundbites of Pat Moody, manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England discussing the AAA Foundation study are available for your use here
Data gathered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that men and younger drivers are the most likely to speed, tailgate, merge dangerously, and make rude gestures or honk at other drivers. With everyday stress already compounded by the pandemic and now the holiday season, which can elevate tensions on the road, AAA Northern New England urges motorists to keep their cool, avoid dangerous driving habits and not engage with other aggressive drivers, which can make a bad situation more dangerous.
Aggressive Driving Behaviors among Male and Female U.S. Drivers, 2019
Regardless of gender, nearly 8 in 10 (79%) American drivers demonstrate aggressive behaviors when behind the wheel. Speeding tops the list, with men being the biggest culprit, though women are not far behind. Contrary to common perception, speeding does not save time on the road. The average amount saved on a 5-mile trip, driving 65 mph on a 45 mph posted road, is only 1.9 minutes.
“Speeding, red-light running, and cutting other drivers off can kill you, your passengers, and others sharing the road,” said Pat Moody, manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England. “Driving aggressively isn’t worth the risk. When you get behind the wheel, be patient, be kind, and obey traffic laws so everyone gets home safely.”
AAA Rules of the Road:
- 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.
A driver may be stressed or react wrongly to another driver’s action on any given day, and the holidays can add to the strain and anxiety. Introduce the pressures and concerns tied to a global pandemic, and even the calmest, most safety-conscious drivers can find themselves frustrated by other motorists.
“If you encounter an aggressive driver on the road or find your temper rising, remember to slow yourself down, breathe deeply, and safely create distance between you and other motorists. Aggressive drivers are likely not thinking about their potential impact on others until it is too late,” added Moody.
AAA offers these tips to help drivers manage aggressive driving scenarios:
- Don’t 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’s not personal.
- Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle, and contact 9-1-1 if needed.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 61 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services. Operating 18 offices throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, AAA Northern New England is a not-for-profit, fully tax-paying corporation and serves as an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA Northern New England can be visited on the Internet at aaa.com