Beckley, WV (WOAY) – AAA has several traffic safety and safe shopping reminders to guarantee an enjoyable shopping experience.
According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS), Nearly 80 percent of American drivers express significant anger and aggression behind the wheel.
About 8 million U.S. drivers engage in some form of road rage, including purposefully ramming other vehicles or exiting their cars to confront other drivers.
As motorists head out for their holiday shopping trips, AAA advises the following tips to avoid road rage:
- Don’t Offend. Avoid forcing another driver to use their brakes or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
- Be Tolerant and Forgiving. Assume that it’s not personal. The other driver may just be having a really bad day.
- Do Not Respond. Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, and maintain space around your vehicle. Call 911 if needed.
AAA is also warning the public about pedestrian safety during the holidays. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian strikes nationwide have increased in the last few years.
GHSA estimates in 2021, drivers struck and killed 7,485 pedestrians, an increase of 11.5% from 2020. Pedestrians account for almost 17 percent of all motor vehicle deaths compared to 11 percent a few years ago.
For pedestrians, AAA recommends the following:
- Be visible. Wear light-colored or reflective clothing and walk in well-lit areas.
- Stay alert and watch for vehicles about to pull away from parking spaces. Avoid distractions, put down your smartphone and do not wear headphones in both ears.
- Follow the rules. Know your city’s traffic rules and signals for pedestrians.
- Walk in safe places. Use crosswalks and walk on sidewalks whenever possible
- Avoid drug or alcohol impairment.
For motorists, AAA recommends the following:
- Be alert. Look out for children and distracted pedestrians at all times and follow posted speed limits.
- Drive with caution near crosswalks. Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and when approaching a crosswalk, reduce your speed and prepare to stop.
- Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and drugs impair your reaction time, reflexes and decision-making skills.
- Stay on guard in parking lots, park in well-lit areas and remember where you parked. Stow away purchased items in trunks or covered cargo areas to reduce the chance of theft.
- When returning to your vehicle, have keys ready in hand, check under your car and in the back seat before getting in, and lock your doors as soon as you are in.