State Farm Tells ‘Naughty’ Holiday Drivers to ‘Be Nice’

Aggressive driverA State Farm survey released this week found that more than 2 out of every 5 drivers admit to recently engaging in “aggressive driving behaviors.”

The Washington Post, which also reported on State Farm’s findings, found that, in its own survey of drivers conducted this past summer, more than 1 out of every  10 respondents said they  “felt road age fairly often.” About 1 out of every 5 respondents said they “felt occasional hostility toward their fellow drivers.” And nearly 2 out of every 3 respondents said they “often or occasionally” see drivers exhibiting “uncontrolled anger” at others.

State Farm said that its survey also found that nearly 1 out of every 3 drivers are more likely to get aggressive behind the wheel “during the winter holidays,” pushing the car insurer to pose a question to drivers:

Are you “naughty or nice?”

According to State Farm, a large chunk of drivers are naughty: 44 percent report engaging in “aggressive driving behaviors” in the past three months.

“These findings reinforce how important it is to keep safety top of mind when driving every day, but especially during heavy travel times like the winter holidays,” says Chris Mullen, State Farm’s director of technology research. “Both negative and positive emotions can affect the way drivers behave, and it’s vital to be aware of your state of mind and continually refocus your attention on the road and practicing safe driving behaviors.”

Aggression More Common Among Younger Drivers and Parents

Those surveyed who were parents were much more likely than non-parents to “report being provoked or engage in aggressive driving around the major winter holidays,” 30 percent to 15 percent, according to State Farm.

When looking at those surveyed by age, State Farm found that drivers between 18 and 29 years old were most likely to report being provoked or engage in aggressive driving during the holiday season, followed closely by drivers between 30 and 49 years old.

Older drivers, aged 50 years old and older, reported much less likelihood for aggression behind the wheel that those two age groups.

According to the survey, drivers are most likely to be aggressive during traffic jams, when they are “running late” and when they encounter roadblocks or “road closures.”

Wintertime Drivers Should Heed Other Seasonal Hazards

Several states in the U.S. will be suffering from harsh winter conditions that is expected to barrel northeast from Texas into other states through the weekend, with The Associated Press recently reporting “snow and freezing rain” in North Texas so bad that a Dallas local dubbed the day “Ice Friday.”

Reuters reported that the National Weather Service “issued winter storm and ice warnings” in regions of several states, including Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

So while the State Farm survey reminds holiday drivers about safe driving, the ongoing icy conditions should also remind holiday drivers about car safety too. Online Auto Insurance (OAI) covered wintertime car needs in our two-parter on buying auto insurance that meets your car’s seasonal needs and equipping the car with the tools it needs to weather harsh conditions.

State Farm also has an advisory website for drivers trying to avoid aggression behind the wheel while juggling important holiday errands and safe holiday driving. The website includes the following advice, which can also be viewed in an interactive graphic:

  • Don’t hit the gas pedal.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Start off calm.
  • Stay alert.
  • Take a deep breath.

And depending on where they live, drivers should also heed the seasonal hazard of deer-car collisions that occur more often starting in fall and lasting until the end of the year.

In a State Farm study of its deer-vehicle claims figures released in September, the car insurer found that West Virginia was the state where “deer-vehicle confrontations” are most likely to occur.

The study also found that December is the third-most likely month nationwide for a deer-vehicle crash.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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