Not everyone on the road this time of year is interested in spreading holiday cheer.
A new study by smartphone app GasBuddy says, individual’s driving habits are 175 percent more aggressive during the holiday season compared to the rest of the year. According to the study, Florida ranks 6 for states with the worst holiday drivers.
Their data also revealed that aggressive driving habits occur most during the beginning of the season, with more instances happening during the drive to the holiday destination, rather than on the return trip.
“People are under a lot of stress during the holidays and tend to lose their patience while driving,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent car insurance agency.
Aggressive driving is considered, hard breaking, speeding and quick accelerating.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the previous year. They also report, over half of fatal crashes involved at least one driver who performed an aggressive action.
AAA recommends drivers, “Manage your behavior, manage your responses.” Do not be personally offended when you see other drivers doing something illegal or inconsiderate. Many drivers this time of year are rushed or distracted, so try and be forgiving. Also, do not respond or make contact with an aggressive driver looking for a confrontation.
Additionally, AAA reminds drivers, to remain calm and courteous while driving, it lowers your risk of a dicey encounter with another driver.
Their tips for dealing with hostility on the road:
- Avoid eye contact with angry drivers.
- Don’t respond to aggression with aggression.
- If you feel you are at risk, drive to a public place such as a police station, hospital or fire station.
- When you park, allow room so you can pull out safely if someone approaches you aggressively.
- Use your horn to attract attention but remain in your locked vehicle.
- If you are confronted, stay as calm and courteous as possible.
- If you feel threatened, call 911.
“Florida does not require motorist to carry bodily injury coverage. So, if you are hurt by an aggressive driver who does not carry that coverage, you are responsible for the cost of your medical expenses,” reminds Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.