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Keep March Madness on the court and off the road

Jessie Jacobson / CC BY-SA 2.0

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – College basketball’s March Madness is here, and AAA is urging drivers to keep the excitement on the court and off the roads.

“The weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer, and the tendency to slow down and drive carefully during the winter may start to relax. That can lead to aggressive driving – weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, tailgating, and getting impatient with others who are not ‘sharing the road’ but are now ‘in your way,’” AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said. “College basketball teams draw up plays that will give them success, and the drivers’ playbook needs to keep safety and courtesy top of mind.”

AAA defensive driving tips

  • Stay alert – actively scan the road for erratic behavior from other drivers, including sudden lane changes and hard braking.
  • Maintain a following distance of at least 3-4 seconds during good weather, and double or triple it at night, in bad weather, or if there is no shoulder on the side of the road.
  • Keep a “safety cushion” of open space around your vehicle whenever possible so that you have an escape route if needed.
  • Monitor your speed. Remember that the left lane is usually occupied by vehicles that want to pass or by aggressive drivers who want to speed.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Do not engage with an aggressive driver. Stay calm, and avoid escalating the situation.

“After a long winter, it’s natural to have a touch of spring fever, and it can be tempting to want to hurry up and reach our destination, even if it means riskier decisions behind the wheel,” Conde said. “But ultimately, aggressive driving is selfish driving, and it can easily set off a sequence of tragic outcomes.”

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