SALT LAKE CITY — We may think we are the best drivers in the world and don’t need any tips, but the roads are full of aggressive drivers who are causing crashes and road rage in their wake.
Memorial Day weekend starts the 100 deadliest days on Utah’s roads and cutting down on accidents though could come down to perhaps one quick change of habit.
“In my opinion, I think aggressive driving is from poor planning,” said Greg Royall, the Traffic Safety Manager with the Utah Safety Council.
Royall teaches “Alive at 25” and Defensive Driving classes around Utah and says that he wakes up listening to the news, traffic and weather together on KSLNewsradio.
“Because I need to plan my day. If I’m not ready, will shorten my driving time. What will I then do? Probably speed, cut people off, and tailgate,” he said.
Remember that Goofy clip you may have watched in Driver’s Ed? When mild-mannered Mr. Walker turns into the rage-filled Mr. Wheeler when he gets into his motor car.
Many otherwise nice people transform behind the wheel, too.
“Your poor driving behavior is affecting everybody, not just one person,” said Royall.
Royall listed the main reasons behind road rage include fighting over parking spaces, cutting off other drivers, minor traffic incidents, receiving obscene gestures, loud music, a horn, driving too slowly, tailgating, and not using directional signals.
“Signal what you are doing, that’s what they are there for,” he said. “Everything is a competition to other drivers but you can’t view them as competitors, they have families too.”
If someone is driving aggressively near you, or it is reaching road rage, Royall says back off, slow down to get away from them, and don’t make eye contact. If you need to, drive to a police station or find a trooper on the side of the road.
He says everyone can reflect, reframe and refocus, to look at how they can change their own behavior.
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