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Road Rage, the need for Common Sense

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Road Rage:  Common Sense Techniques to avoid trouble....

AAA Mid-Atlantic is providing free brochures to help motorists avoid becoming victims of injuries as a result of aggressive driving, commonly referred to as road rage. The brochure, developed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, emphasize common sense driving techniques that may reduce the risk of encounters with angry drivers.

"Don't offend, don't engage and adjust your attitude are the basic ways to avoid becoming a victim of road rage," according to the AAA Foundation. The brochures, titled "Road Rage: How to Avoid Aggressive Driving," are available at all AAA Mid-Atlantic offices. Tips in the brochure include:

Avoid cutting someone off - Use your turn signal to show your driving intentions. If you make a mistake and accidentally cut someone else off, try to apologize to the other driver with an appropriate gesture. If someone cuts you off, slow down and give the driver room to merge.

Tailgating - Drivers get angry when they are followed too closely. Allow at least a three-second space between your car and the car ahead of you. In the evening hours, you should be able to see the headlights of the car behind you in your rear-view mirror. If you're being followed too closely, signal and pull over to allow the other driver to pass.

Gestures - Almost nothing makes another driver angrier than an obscene gesture. Keep you hands on the steering wheel. Avoid making gestures that might anger another driver - even harmless gestures like shaking your head.

Don't start a fight - You can protect yourself against aggressive drivers by refusing to become angry with them. Give angry drivers lots of room. Think about what kinds of crashes their actions or your actions could cause. Then cool off and continue your trip.

Avoid eye contact - If another driver is acting angry with you, don't make eye contact. Avoid looking or staring at another driver; this can turn an impersonal encounter into a personal duel.

Transportation Directorate, Virginia Wing Headquarters, CAP