-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Road rage is a factor in
nearly half of all car accidents, and the most irritating drivers
are those who cut in and weave in and out of traffic, according to
a new study.
Researchers from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, in
Toronto, said identifying the triggers of road rage will help
drivers stay calm and prevent dangerous driving.
The study, published online recently in the journal
Accident Analysis and Prevention, involved thousands of
complaints about unsafe or aggressive driving posted on the website
RoadRagers.com. "These websites can tell us more about what people
are doing out there in the real world," study leader Christine
Wickens, a post-doctoral fellow with the center's social and
epidemiological research department, said in a center news
Wickens and her team analyzed more than 5,000 entries posted
between 1999 and 2007. The entries were grouped into categories,
such as speeding and erratic driving.
The study revealed 54 percent of the complaints involved drivers
cutting in or weaving in traffic. Speeding accounted for 29 percent
of the entries, and 25 percent of the complaints were the result of
hostile displays from other drivers.
The study's authors noted that more research is needed to
explore how drivers perceive and react to aggressive or erratic
driving. In extreme cases, one aggressive action can lead to
hostile behavior by multiple drivers, they pointed out.
They noted that drivers should take steps to remain calm while
"Remind yourself to take a deep breath, stay calm and do whatever it takes to bring your anger down," advised Wickens.
The U.S. Department of Transportation provides more tips on how
to avoid the negative consequences of
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