Cooley On Cars
Smarter driver: The roots of road rageRoad rage seems to have become a thing lately, but it's actually as old as driving. Maybe our camera'd-up society just brings it to the surface more. CNET's Brian Cooley explores and defuses.
[MUSIC] [NOISE] [MUSIC] A new survey of over 1,000 U.S. drivers about what drives them insane about other drivers, done on behalf of Expedia. Found that number one is, as you might imagine, the texter, or the caller or the webber while driving driver. In other words, someone fumbling with their phone. That's accounted for a huge 69% of outrages. The tailgater came in second at about 60%. And then the person who is otherwise distracted, multitasking, separate from texting. That came in at 54%. These are the big three. [MUSIC] Nearly seven in ten Americans report that they have been flipped off, by a fellow motorist, 17% admit returning the gesture. Right. And 85% of the drivers surveyed said they're pleasantly surprised when they get a thank you wave from a fellow driver. That's kinda sad. Now, road rage would seem to be all about people. Right? But a study by the Texas Transportation Institute not long ago, found that, actually, a lot of that stress that leads to road rage and aggressive driving, comes from the way roads are laid out, not just the way people behave. Turns out, the yellow line can make you see red. [MUSIC] At notorious traffic spots in Dallas. Traffic flow was reworked three ways. New lane signage and lane striping that explicitly directs all drivers, where in the lane to merge and how, using the zipper method for example. The use of photo grammetry, to clear accidents and rubber necking faster. Photo grammetry simply means taking clear detailed photos of the crash scene and then getting out of there. And doing accident measurements later, from the pictures. And late merging where lane ends. Using signage directing cars to go to the far end of the disappearing lane and merge there via the zipper and instead of making it informal, where some cars would go to the end and irritate the other lanes and other cars will try to merge early and waste lane space. In any event, it pays to double check yourself, when you feel your blood boiling on the road. It's not worth it. And hopefully, road designers will pay attention to the fact that the way they funnel us into each other, can go a long way toward causing problems. [MUSIC]