Drivers should act with kindness, not anger

May 02, 2013

Aggressive driving accounts for more than half of all traffic fatalities, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

It is dangerous behavior for everyone involved. We all experience a little road rage when someone slows us down, cuts us off or otherwise endangers our lives on the road. But retaliation is never the answer.

Recently, a road rage incident resulted in a stabbing in Canton. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior. It is important to know that 99 percent of the time, drivers don’t do things to intentionally infuriate others on the road.

It is usually because they aren’t paying attention or they don’t know the area well. With the summer months not far away, more tourists will be coming into the county to see our beautiful community and put money into our economy. Let’s be sure to show them our Haywood hospitality and be patient on the roads.

The Golden Rule is always good guidance. If someone has their blinker on and needs to get into your lane, let them in front of you. Don’t ride someone’s bumper because they have a Florida tag. Don’t weave in and out of traffic — chances are you won’t get to your destination any faster. Don’t beep your horn if someone is driving slowly trying to figure out where they are. If you have to be somewhere on time, leave early to avoid speeding and to save yourself the stress in traffic.

Being courteous is one thing, but it is also important to be a defensive driver. Make sure your focus is on the road and not your cell phone, your iPod or other distractions. There is nothing more frustrating or dangerous than texting and driving — so put your phone down! Pay attention to other drivers to avoid accidents.