SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Police (ISP) is launching an educational, public awareness campaign focused on reducing incidents involving road rage. The new campaign, Road Rage. Don’t Engage. is designed to raise awareness about an increase in road rage incidents leading to violence, as well as educate the public on the signs of road rage and tips on how to prevent and handle these situations.

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“Although road rage is nothing new, we’re seeing people react more aggressively and dangerously,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “The message is simple – if you see or become part of a road rage situation, don’t engage. That extra car length you gain by cutting someone off, or arriving 10 seconds earlier by tailgating another person, is not worth your life.”

ISP developed a campaign to raise public awareness about road rage and the disturbing trend. The campaign consists of social media, including a social media toolkit, along with billboards and radio ads in strategic markets. ISP Safety Education Officers across the state will continue to educate the public on the dangers of road rage and how to deal with the dangerous behavior.

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According to an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, when drivers explained why they became violent, the reasons were often trivial, such as the other driver wouldn’t let them pass or they kept tailgating. Almost 80% of drivers reported aggressive behaviors while driving, including speeding and following other vehicles too closely.

Road rage is anger and frustration caused by the stress of driving in a motor vehicle. Some of the most common signs of road rage and aggressive driving are:

  • Following too closely or tailgating
  • Improper or erratic lane changing
  • Illegally driving on the shoulder of the road (emergency lane), in a ditch/median, or on sidewalk
  • Passing where prohibited
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Failure to obey traffic laws, signs, and devices
  • Failure to yield to emergency personnel and construction zone speed limits
  • Failure to signal
  • Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted speed limit or racing
  • Making an improper turn

ISP reminds the public that when it comes to aggressive drivers and road rage, don’t engage. The following are tips on how to avoid being the victim of road rage:

  • If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move to your right and allow them to pass
  • When merging, make sure you have plenty of room and use your turn signal
  • If someone cuts you off, slow down and give them room to merge into your lane
  • If a speeding driver is tailgating you, safely change lanes when able
  • Making gestures might anger the other driver; create distance and avoid confrontation
  • If another driver is acting angry, don’t make eye contact

If you are the victim of road rage or believe a driver is following or harassing you, call 911 and/or go to the nearest police department to report it. Don’t lose your temper or your life. Road Rage. Don’t Engage.

More information about road rage and Road Rage. Don’t Engage. social media materials are on the ISP website at https://isp.illinois.gov/TrafficSafety/RoadRage.

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