February 19, 1998 in Nation/World

If You Must Rage, Please Don’t Drive Aaa Targets Road Violence With Courteous-Driving Radio Ad Campaign

Associated Press
 

Tailgating, running red lights, giving other drivers dirty looks - the American Automobile Association says it’s time for a change in attitude behind the wheel.

The AAA launched a national radio advertising campaign Wednesday to challenge the road rage problem and another serious highway safety issue - the increasing tendency of drivers to run red lights.

At least 218 Americans were killed and 12,000 injured in road rage incidents between January 1990 and August 1996, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says, and reports of incidents are growing steadily.

“If we can convince millions of calm, mature motorists not to get sucked into encounters with angry drivers, many lives can be saved and injuries reduced,” said David Willis, who heads the foundation.

The foundation is asking radio stations across the nation to air four public service announcements, especially during peak driving hours. One concludes: “It’s time we all drive with the same courtesy we extend to people in the rest of our lives.”

The campaign targets all drivers but especially males between 18 and 26 years old, the demographic group most prone to aggressive driving, Willis said.

Aggressive drivers tend to become frustrated easily and show little concern for fellow motorists.

“We’re not naive enough to think these ads are going to change everyone’s habits,” said Stephanie Faul, foundation spokeswoman. “All we hope to do is raise public awareness and let people know that aggressive drivers are an issue they have to think about.”

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REDUCING RAGE

The AAA offers these tips on controlling road rage:

Allow for extra driving time.

Listen to soothing music.

Avoid eye contact or obscene gesturing with other drivers.

Don’t block the passing lane.

© Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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