Even in the spirit of giving and being thankful, drivers can still get frustrated on the roads as they make their way to holidays destinations.

The AAA forecasts over 97 million Americans will drive to their destination this holiday season, and for even the most patient drivers, stress behind the wheel can lead to road rage.

“The holidays can be stressful as drivers head to busy shopping centers for that perfect gift or battle congested freeways while traveling,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Minor frustrations have the potential to turn deadly if drivers act out their anger on the road. Travelers should be sure to pack their patience and remember to be respectful when behind the wheel this holiday season.”

Nearly 3 in 4 drivers believe that aggressive driving is a bigger problem today than three years ago, while nine out of ten believe aggressive drivers are a serious threat to their personal safety.

AAA says that the road to preventing aggressive driving and road rage begins inside our own car. One of the best ways to prevent these encounters on the roadway is to avoid engaging in aggressive maneuvers and trying not to give other drivers cause to become aggressive. 

AAA offers these tips to help prevent road rage this holiday season:

  • Do Not Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing another driver to use their brakes, or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
  • Be Tolerant and Forgiving: The other driver may just be having a really bad day. Assume that it is not personal.
  • Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 9-1-1 if needed.

If you are confronted by a driver displaying aggressive or dangerous behavior, AAA says you should follow these guidelines:

  • Establish more space between you and the aggressive driver: This will immediately help reduce the chance of a collision between you and the driver.
  • Obtain information about the vehicle: If it is safe to do so, obtain any information about the vehicle, such as type, make and model, color  and license plate number. Do not put yourself or anyone else at risk when attempting to collect such information.
  • If necessary, call 911: If the situation escalates, safely come to a stop and call 911. The best thing you can do to help is safely provide the dispatcher with information. Law enforcement is well-equipped to handle this sort of situation.