In a New Plymouth Rock Assurance Study, 99 Percent of New Jersey Drivers Report Witnessing At Least One Road Rage Incident; Company Offers Tips to Reduce Stress and Deter Aggressive Driving
Plymouth Rock Assurance has published the results of a new study revealing that virtually all drivers polled have witnessed provocative driving behavior or road rage in New Jersey. Behaviors reported include unsafe and aggressive driving sometimes even leading to a physical altercation. The study is the latest examination of behavior on roads in the Garden State by the New Jersey car insurance group, which earlier this year set a Guinness World Records® title for raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving after finding widespread cell phone usage and other forms of distracted driving in previous studies.
Findings from the latest study include:
99 percent witnessing at least one road rage incident
96 percent perceiving that other drivers disobey posted speed limits on major highways
89 percent witnessing other drivers change lanes without signaling
59 percent witnessing other drivers make insulting gestures
35 percent reporting occasional “uncontrollable anger” behind the wheel
11 percent witnessing other drivers engage in physical altercations
“Considering the legal and potentially fatal consequences of aggressive driving behavior, the frequency and types of actions reported in our latest study are unsettling,” said Gerry Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey. “We also found that nearly half of New Jersey drivers are concerned about their safety on our roads—we want those drivers to know that they are not alone and that there are ways to deter and avoid road rage.”
Plymouth Rock encourages New Jersey drivers to consider the following tips to reduce stress while driving and manage aggressive behavior from other drivers.
Check Your Pride When the Seatbelt Clicks: Drivers should remember that the goal is to reach the destination safely—without needing to win or prove anything on the road.
“Be My Guest”: This philosophy from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety should be the automatic response to other drivers who seem eager to get out in front. There is no way of knowing the intention or situation of other drivers, and nothing should be taken personally.
Stay Calm: While other drivers cannot be controlled, the personal driving environment can. Drivers should leave early and set a comfortable climate and seat position. Playing soothing music has also been linked to stress relief.
Avoid Eye Contact: Locking eyes with an aggressive driver can escalate an impersonal incident between two vehicles into a personal conflict.
The Golden Rule: Driving courteously can help avoid provoking aggressive behavior from other drivers.
“Our study also revealed a disparity between self-reported driving behavior and observed aggressive driving, so we are asking all drivers to collectively refocus on safety behind the wheel,” added Wilson. “For many, this is easier said than done. We remain committed to educating and supporting New Jersey’s drivers so we all get home safe.”
Drivers who observe aggressive driving behavior or road rage should contact New Jersey’s Aggressive Driver System via phone at #77. Reporting unsafe drivers can help prevent future tragedies. Drivers should pull over to a safe area before making any calls.
This survey consisted of 1,012 New Jersey consumers with valid driver licenses who operate a vehicle at least once per week. The survey included questions about personal driving behavior and observed driving behavior to measure tendencies and attitudes regarding aggressive driving. The study had a 95 percent confidence interval and +/- 2 percent margin of error. The survey was conducted by Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey.
About Plymouth Rock Assurance
Plymouth Rock Assurance is a marketing name used by a group of separate companies that write and manage over $1 billion in auto and home insurance in the Northeast. Plymouth Rock’s industry-leading service innovations include Crashbusters® mobile appraisers, Door to Door Valet Claim Service®, Get Home Safe® taxi reimbursement, and its Pledge of Assurance® written commitment to excellence in customer care. Insurance in New Jersey is offered by Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey on behalf of Palisades Insurance Company and its affiliates. Each company is financially responsible only for its own insurance products. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued by each company.