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Sam Memmolo

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Road Rage

(ARA) - In today’s society, we all spend more time in our cars than we’d probably like. Traffic congestion and seemingly endless road construction delays can make getting around town extremely frustrating. Chances are you have felt the pangs of road rage on occasion.

There’s no doubt that there are a fair number of discourteous and just plain bad drivers on the road. Aggressive driving, such as speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, failing to signal intent to change lanes, or other forms of negligent or inconsiderate driving are sometimes accidental or caused by inattention. However, the acts can be intentional as well. In fact, a recent study by Farmers Insurance Group shows that more than 10 percent of drivers admit they have intentionally cut off other drivers or have wanted to force them off the road during the past year. Of the 1,001 drivers surveyed, 14.3 percent said they had shouted at or had gotten into a honking match with another motorist.

According to the Farmers survey, most road rage occurs among younger drivers. Nearly half of respondents who said they had shouted at or gotten into a honking match with another driver were in the 18 to 34 age group, which also ranked highest among those who said they had cut off another driver or felt like forcing them off the road.

“Aggressive driving and road rage are both truly dangerous behaviors,” says Jeff Beyer, senior vice president, corporate communications for Farmers Insurance Group. “They put other motorists and passengers at risk, and should not be tolerated.”

But fighting road rage with anger just adds fuel to the fire. There are too many instances of road rage turning into a dangerous or deadly situation. For example, 24 individuals of those surveyed said they had gotten into a fistfight with another driver, while 37 respondents admitted to having carried a weapon with them in case of a confrontation with another driver.

Here are some tips from Farmers on how to avoid getting involved in situations that could lead to road rage:

Always use your indicators when changing lanes or merging.

Be courteous. If another driver is signaling to change into your lane ahead of you, let them.

Ignore drivers who make angry gestures at you. Separate yourself from them, if possible.

If a vehicle is tailgating you, attempt to change lanes and let it pass.

If you are being followed, drive to a nearby crowded public place and call for help or drive to a nearby police station. You can also alert police via a cell phone.

Never provoke another driver.

Highway safety officials say that aggressive driving and road rage are very similar to impaired driving,” Beyer says. “Motorists should try to distance themselves and their passengers from these perpetrators quickly, but safely.”

For more information on Farmers Insurance Group, visit www.farmers.com

Courtesy of ARA Content

may2005

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