With Holiday Travel Congestion Ahead, AAA Offers Tips on Avoiding Road Rage

It’s good to keep in mind that that other driver might just be having a bad day, motoring club advises.

byKate Gibson| UPDATED Apr 11, 2019 3:51 PM
With Holiday Travel Congestion Ahead, AAA Offers Tips on Avoiding Road Rage

As a record 97.4 million drivers ready to hit the road for the holidays, there's bound to be increased stress and aggression behind the wheel. It's understandable: people are sleep deprived, probably not eating well, and have maybe had too much family time.

Nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once during the past year, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. 

Approximately 8 million U.S. motorists engaged in more extreme behavior, including purposely ramming another vehicle or getting out of their car to confront another driver, according to the foundation.

“Minor frustrations have the potential to turn deadly if drivers act out their anger on the road," said Tamra Johnson, AAA's spokesperson. "Travelers should be sure to pack their patience and remember to be respectful when behind the wheel this holiday season.”

On Thursday, AAA offered the following tips to help prevent road rage this holiday season:

  • Do Not 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 is not personal.
  • Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 9-1-1 if needed. 

Nearly three in four drivers believe that aggressive driving is a bigger problem today than three years ago, while nine out of ten believe aggressive drivers are a serious threat to their personal safety, according to the motoring organization.