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Avoiding Holiday Road Rage

Written By: Asha McKenzie
Avoiding Road Rage

ELMIRA (WENY) -- As the holiday weekend approaches, more cars will be on the road, and more drivers coping with holiday traffic.   
     Long hours on the road and bumper to bumper traffic are no strangers to the 4th of July Holiday weekend.
     These stressful situations can lead to extreme cases of aggressive driving.
     New York State Police say they have dedicated patrols to look out for road rage offenders.
     "We specifically look for aggressive drivers," said Sergeant Rick Newell. "That means drivers that are following too close, passing unsafely, reckless driving."
     State Police say it's important to be aware when someone is tailgating you.
     Refraining from what they call "brake checking" or abruptly pressing on the brakes will avoid accidents on busy highways."
     "We want the highways in New York to be as safe as possible," said Newell.
     A study by safeco insurance finds aggressive driving increases during the 4th of July holiday, with 30 percent of drivers more likely to be more hostile on the road.
     So before getting behind the wheel it's important to take extra measures to stay calm.
     "Make sure you don't get on the road when you're tired," said Mental Health therapist at Family Services of Chemung County, Kathy Rundle. "Because you're more easily agitated. It's also great to plan ahead because if you're running late. It's going to cause issues.
     Rundle says if someone cuts you off or is aggressive towards you on the road, don't take it personal.
     She says arguing back could lead to even more dangerous situations.
     "Anything you do to calm yourself down first because people will respond to that," said Rundle. "If you're calm they'll respond to that. It's never good to engage someone who's already upset and hostile."
     State police say they will have extra patrol out this holiday weekend.
     They urge drivers to be alert and safe.