A new study from Plymouth Rock Assurance reveals that virtually all drivers polled have witnessed provocative driving behavior or road rage in New Jersey.
Behaviors reported include unsafe and aggressive driving sometimes even leading to a physical altercation.
The survey consisted of 1,012 New Jersey consumers with valid driver licenses who operate a vehicle at least once per week. The survey included questions about personal driving behavior and observed driving behavior to measure tendencies and attitudes regarding aggressive driving. The survey was conducted by Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey.
Findings from the latest study include:
• 99 percent witnessing at least one road rage incident
• 96 percent perceiving that other drivers disobey posted speed limits on major highways
• 89 percent witnessing other drivers change lanes without signaling
• 59 percent witnessing other drivers make insulting gestures
• 35 percent reporting occasional “uncontrollable anger” behind the wheel
• 11 percent witnessing other drivers engage in physical altercations
“Considering the legal and potentially fatal consequences of aggressive driving behavior, the frequency and types of actions reported in our latest study are unsettling,” said Gerry Wilson, president and CEO of Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey.
“We also found that nearly half of New Jersey drivers are concerned about their safety on our roads — we want those drivers to know that they are not alone and that there are ways to deter and avoid road rage,” Wilson said.
Plymouth Rock said it encourages New Jersey drivers to consider the following tips to reduce stress while driving and manage aggressive behavior from other drivers.
• Check Your Pride When the Seatbelt Clicks: Drivers should remember that the goal is to reach the destination safely — without needing to win or prove anything on the road.
• “Be My Guest”: This philosophy from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety should be the automatic response to other drivers who seem eager to get out in front. There is no way of knowing the intention or situation of other drivers, and nothing should be taken personally.
• Stay Calm: While other drivers cannot be controlled, the personal driving environment can. Drivers should leave early and set a comfortable climate and seat position. Playing soothing music has also been linked to stress relief.
• Avoid Eye Contact: Locking eyes with an aggressive driver can escalate an impersonal incident between two vehicles into a personal conflict.
• The Golden Rule: Driving courteously can help avoid provoking aggressive behavior from other drivers.
“Our study also revealed a disparity between self-reported driving behavior and observed aggressive driving, so we are asking all drivers to collectively refocus on safety behind the wheel,” added Wilson. “For many, this is easier said than done. We remain committed to educating and supporting New Jersey’s drivers so we all get home safe.”
Plymouth Rock said drivers who observe aggressive driving behavior or road rage should contact New Jersey’s Aggressive Driver System via phone at #77. Reporting unsafe drivers can help prevent future tragedies. Drivers should pull over to a safe area before making any calls.
Source: Plymouth Rock Assurance
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