In theory, at least.
When it comes to reality, the number of people that are stressed to the limit as they attempt to accomplish far too many things in far too little time seems to increase every year. And while this shows up in our actions and our deeds, it also is evident in our driving.
Whether due to the number of people on the roads, the winter weather, the stress of the season or more, State Farm, together with KRC Research, set out to find if drivers are "Naughty or Nice" by conducting a survey.
And the results? Well, let's just say that there's definitely room for improvement.
State Farm's findings lead to the need for all of us to stay alert for the signs of aggressive driving in other drivers (and ourselves), but the two stats that stuck out to me the most were:
- 32% of younger drivers (ages 18-29) and parents (30%) were significantly more likely to report being provoked or engage in aggressive driving around the major winter holidays compared to only 9% of older drivers (ages 50 and older) and non-parents (15%). Why can't we, as parents, relax a little bit?
- About half of survey respondents perceive men and women to be equally courteous when driving. When it comes to aggressive driving, however, the majority (54%) of drivers cite men as the most likely culprits of aggressive driving, compared to only one in 10 who said that women are more likely. I think that my husband would disagree, but I view men as the majority of aggressive drivers as well!
Whether drivers are guilty of aggressive driving or have been on the receiving end of it, State Farm encourages drivers to be nicer during the holiday season by following these helpful tips:
- Don't hit the gas pedal. Plan extra time to get to your destination to account for weather conditions, heavy traffic or parking lot congestion.
- Plan ahead. Anticipate that traffic will be heavier and give yourself more time to maneuver in holiday crowds. Back off the speed and don't tailgate — it's one of the top triggers of aggressive driving incidents. Another trigger? Making frequent or last-minute lane changes. Where possible, stay in the lane that will be closest to your planned exit to avoid sudden moves.
- Start off calm. Don't go out to shop if you're already stressed. Other drivers' actions may immediately set you on edge, prompting you to respond negatively.
- Stay alert. Focus on the job of driving rather than on all the details you have to take care of. Watch the traffic patterns and keep an eye on drivers who are speeding or driving erratically.
- Take a deep breath. Find a way to stay calm in tense situations. Keep breathing, play holiday music or listen to a book on tape. When witnessing aggressive driving, don't make eye contact or respond in kind to an aggressive driver. Both actions may fuel the driver's anger.
This holiday season, put the brakes on aggressive driving and road rage. In the U.S. alone, an average of 1,500 people are injured or killed each year as a direct result of aggressive driving and that is not a way that any of us want to remember this joyous time of year.
To find out more about aggressive driving, what you can do to avoid being a target, and how to control your own bad habits, visit the State Farm Learning Center today.
Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will be prepared to relax just a little bit more this winter, because...
One lucky person will win a Stress Relief Gift Pack* from State Farm!
*Gift pack includes a stress ball, 24 oz. water bottle, 21 oz. coffee mug, foam can holder, classical CD, Orville Redenbacher popcorn pack and an insulated tote. Total ARV $50+.
A big thank you to State Farm for providing a gift pack for me as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.