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ROAD RAGE

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Published on Wed, Jun 8, 2005

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

ROAD RAGE

Road warriors from Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome

ONE IN 10 ADMIT TO CUTTING OFF OTHER DRIVERS ...OR WANTED TO FORCE THEM OFF THE ROAD Los Angeles (PRNewswire) - More than 10 percent of drivers admit they have intentionally cut off other drivers or have wanted to force them off the road during the past year, according to a recent survey by Farmers Insurance Group. Of the 1,001 drivers surveyed, 14.3 percent said they had shouted at or had gotten into a honking match with another motorist. Furthermore, 24 of those surveyed said they had gotten into a fistfight with another driver, while 37 of the respondents admitted to having carried a weapon with them in case of a confrontation with another driver. Farmers notes that aggressive driving, such as speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, failing to signal intent to change lanes, or other forms of negligent or inconsiderate driving, often escalates into what has commonly become known as "road rage." "Aggressive driving and road rage are both truly dangerous behaviors," said Jeff Beyer, senior vice-president, corporate communications for Farmers Insurance Group. "They put other motorists and passengers at risk, and should not be tolerated." Road rage is defined as an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle, or is caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway and is considered a criminal offense. According to the Farmers survey, most road rage occurs among younger drivers. Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents who said they had shouted at or gotten into a honking match with another driver were in the 18-34 age group, which also ranked highest among those who said they had cut off another driver or felt like forcing them off the road (16.5 percent). Farmers recommends the following tactics on how to avoid becoming a victim of "road rage:" * Always use your indicators when changing lanes or merging. * Be courteous. If another driver is signaling to change into your lane ahead of you, let them. * Ignore drivers who make angry gestures at you. Separate yourself from them, if possible. * If a vehicle is tailgating yours, attempt to change lanes and let it pass. * If you are being followed, drive to a nearby crowded public place and call for help or drive to a nearby police station. You can also alert police via a cell phone as well. * Never provoke another driver. "Highway safety officials say that aggressive driving and road rage are very similar to impaired driving," Beyer said. "Motorists should try to distance themselves and their passengers from these perpetrators quickly, but safely." This article first appeared on the LA Car Blog.

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