AAA urges patience from drivers on Black Friday

Posted 22 November 2018 at 9:14 am

80% of drivers expressed anger, road rage at least once in the past year

Press Release, AAA of Western and Central NY

While the holidays are usually a time of joy and cheer, getting ready for them can be stressful and overwhelming – especially if you’re rushing.

Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year. As holiday shoppers rush out for Black Friday and continue shopping throughout the coming weeks, AAA Western and Central New York is reminding motorists to pack their patience.

The most alarming findings from the AAAFTS study suggest that approximately 8 million U.S. drivers engaged in extreme examples of road rage, including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver.

“Everyone wants the perfect gift for the holidays, and emotions can run high trying to find it,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA WCNY. “Minor frustrations in parking lots or on the road can turn deadly when drivers take their anger out on other drivers.”

The National Retail Federation reported 66 million people shopped on Black Friday last year. With 54.3 million Americans traveling for Thanksgiving, the roads will be crowded with everyone trying to get to their destination.

Road rage includes purposefully tailgating; yelling at another driver; honking; making angry gestures; trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes; cutting off another vehicle on purpose; getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver; and – perhaps the most dangerous of all – bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose.

AAA offers these tips to help prevent road rage this shopping season:

• 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.

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