Manager, Public & Government Affairs
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Senior Specialist, Public & Government Affairs
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- With the stress of the holiday season compounded this year by the stress of COVID, AAA has released a timely snapshot of aggressive behaviors behind the wheel...according to gender.
- Data gathered by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows MEN are more aggressive behind the wheel...but women also admit to engaging in dangerously aggressive behaviors...including running red lights.
- Regardless of gender, almost 80% of 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.
- AAA encourages all drivers - male, female, young and old - to practice patience through the holiday season.
- AAA offers tips for avoiding escalation of aggressive actions on roads.
AAA Foundation Survey:
Men Are More Aggressive Behind the Wheel
ALL Drivers Urged to Keep Cool as COVID and Holiday Pressures Collide
December 3, 2020 – Data just released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirms the perception that men tend to speed, tailgate, merge dangerously, and make rude gestures or honk at other drivers more than women. In fact, the survey indicates that the majority of men (52%) speed when behind the wheel. But, the survey finds that women also admit to some dangerous driving habits, including running red lights.
Though not surprising, the data provides a timely snapshot about aggressive driving behaviors which investigators say have contributed to an unusually high number of serious and fatal crashes during COVID.
“Nationwide and here in Oklahoma, speed has contributed to a disturbing number of serious and fatal crashes this year, despite there being fewer people on the roads,” says Leslie Gamble, spokesperson for AAA Oklahoma.
Overall, the survey found, younger male and female drivers tend to be more aggressive than older drivers.
“With pandemic stress adding to what we experience every day – now, compounded with holiday stress - AAA is urging ALL motorists – male and female, young or old - to keep their cool and practice patience when behind the wheel,” Gamble says. “Even the calmest, most safety-conscious drivers can find themselves frustrated by other motorists.”
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,” Gamble adds. “Driving aggressively isn’t worth the risk. When you get behind the wheel, be cautious, be kind, and obey traffic laws so everyone gets home safely.”
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.
- 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.
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 Gamble.
For more information, visit www.aaa.com/preventroadrage
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly 423,000 members in Oklahoma. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.