Wow, how one year can fly. It seems just like yesterday that I wrote some observations about aggressive driving in December. My thoughts were confirmed when I came across a recent State Farm/KRC Research survey. That very survey’s conclusions say that nearly a third – or 32 percent – of drivers said their likelihood to engage in aggressive driving increases during the major winter holidays.
So, when you’re out attempting to get that "primo" parking space at the local shopping strip center or mall, look out because even the gentlest driver might just stomp on the gas to beat you to the punch. Trust me: It’s surprising when it happens, but a good parking space equals a premium shopping experience in even the most mild-mannered people one could think of in a given moment.
Perhaps that one-third of the driving population puts the added pressure upon themselves to perform up to some unwritten expectations during this winter holiday period. With so many deadlines at work coupled with the holiday deadlines to purchase and in some cases, mail out cards and gifts, it’s no wonder that the driving becomes aggressive.
It’s not only the parking lots where things may get dicey for drivers. Traffic jams, which are not uncommon in these parts, are far more intense during December. It’s no surprise that 63 percent of those surveyed said that they are more aggressive in these jams. My most recent pet peeve is: why are there more drivers out when it’s raining? I do not have any answers to avoiding the jams or handling them any better. Traffic jams are a waste of time, money and energy – so in our minds it’s maddening, but at the end of the day we are helpless. Still, why are there more people out in the rain? Of those surveyed, running late puts driving aggression at 55 percent and 47 percent when roads are under construction. Thus, in places like the Buford Highway/Spring Connector in Atlanta where there is long-term construction, things are bit more heated inside vehicles while it’s a bit more chilly outdoors.
Other interesting statistics come out the State Farm/KRC Research survey including that 54 percent of drivers cite that men are more likely to drive aggressively. That number is compared to just nine percent of women as aggressive drivers. Worse yet, young male drivers are more likely to speed, pass and tailgate. That part of the study reinforces stereotypes while parents get some cold numbers here. According to the survey, 30 percent of parents confess that they drive more aggressively during holiday season. The older drivers who say they are more aggressive come in at just nine percent.
In all, nearly two out of three drivers in this country say they experienced aggressive driving six times in the past three months. On that statement, does that number include those surveyed as being the aggressor or the receiver of aggressive driving?
It’s easy to sit here and say cool it down and pay attention to the road. Oh, our poor steering wheels that gets the brunt of our aggressions. The key thing to remember is that it’s all not worth it in the long run.