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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Auto Bits: Best way to handle aggressive drivers? Model better behavior

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  • Tip of the Week
    Eighty-five percent of motorists describe other drivers’ behind-the-wheel behavior as aggressive, yet only 36 percent admit their own driving is aggressive, according to a survey by Safeco Insurance. Despite that discrepancy, the survey also revealed widespread agreement on two important points: 82 percent said they experience negative feelings because of how other people drive, and 72 percent said they would welcome the chance to improve the driving experience for everyone and make at least one change to their own behavior.
    Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist and author of the book “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” offers some tips to help drivers begin curbing aggressive road behaviors:
    * Aggressive drivers cut off other motorists, tailgate, have unnecessary and excessive use the horn, speed and change lanes rapidly. If these behaviors describe your driving habits, resolve to make a change for the better.
    * Model good driving behavior by being friendly and courteous on the road. Your good behavior can inspire others to be courteous as well. Give up a parking spot, and when it’s safe to do so, allow other drivers to move into your lane.
    * Accept that some undesirable road conditions, such as heavy traffic, slow drivers or excessively fast ones are a normal and unavoidable reality of driving. If you normalize these irritations, you’re less likely to be frustrated by them.
    * Don’t take it personally. A driver who cut you off was likely just being thoughtless, and didn’t intend to anger or endanger you. Consider other explanations; perhaps the driver is traveling to an emergency or simply didn’t see you.
    In addition to improving your own behaviors and encouraging others to do so, too, avoid antagonizing aggressive drivers. NHTSA recommends you do your best to get out of the way of aggressive drivers and don’t encourage them by speeding up or attempting to block them. Avoid eye contact and ignore rude gestures - in short, don’t encourage bad driving behavior by behaving badly yourself.
    - Brandpoint
    The List
    What’s your favorite TV car of all time? Here’s MSN Autos’ list of their favorites:
    10. 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from “Knight Rider”
    9. 1986 Ferrari Testarossa from “Miami Vice”
    8. 1951 Ford F1 from “Sanford and Son”
    7. 1975 Ford Gran Torino from “Starsky and Hutch”
    6. 1983 GMC G15 Van from “The A-Team”
    5. 1983 Ferrari 308 GTS from “Magnum P.I.”
    4. 1969 Dodge Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard”
    3. 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser from “That 70’s Show”
    2. 1975 Pontiac Firebird Esprit from “The Rockford Files”
    1. 1966 Batmobile (aka 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept) from “Batman”
    Did You Know
    Fortune Magazine recently called the Cadillac ELR the most disliked car of the year (so far). The plug-in hybrid coupe is similar to the Chevy Volt but costs a whopping $75,999, leading buyers to bypass the Caddy.
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