Specific Purpose: To persuade the audience that aggressive driving should be avoided.
I.Attention Getter: Speeding, tailgating, giving the finger and outright violence. Each day Americans grow more and more likely to take out their personal frustrations on other drivers. It is called aggressive driving and it is on the incline.
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II. Definition: Driving is a curious combination of public and private acts. A car isolates a driver from the world even as it carries him through it. The sensation of personal power is intoxicating. Aggressive driving includes such things as illegal or improper lane changes or turns, failing to stop or yield right of way, excessive speeds, and an assortment of gestures, looks and verbally abusive language.
III. Connection: Everday we have to deal with these people on our roads. We run a great risk just driving around the corner to go to the store or a quiet trip to church. According to U.S. News and World Report, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that two-thirds of fatalities are at least partially caused by aggressive driving. Fortunately, there is something we can do about it.
Preview: To overcome aggressive driving we must first understand it. I would like to share with you the problem, the dangers and the solutions for this growing trend.
I. The Problem: The major cause of aggressive driving is the discourteous or inattentive driver.
A. The number one cause is probably the “left-lane hog”, according to a story in the Amarillo Daily News.
1. Other discourteous driving behaviors include failure to signal before a lane change, changing lanes too closely to other drivers and tailgating.
B. It is these seemingly unaware drivers that infuriate the aggressive driver and trigger the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde transformation.
1. Reduced enforcement, highway traffic, congestion or personal issues also play a large role in the disposition of the aggressive driver.
C. The angry driver then may demonstrate his displeasure by speeding around the other vehicle, cutting the other driver off or with a number of verbal and nonverbal messages.
Signpost: Though the driver may feel justified in his or her action, this kind of display is most times very dangerous and often will result in damage to either the vehicles, the drivers and nonverbal messages.
I. The Dangers: As mentioned before, two-thirds of the 42,000 highway deaths last year were related to aggressive driving.
A. In a recent member survey by the American Automobile Association, motorists named aggressive driving as their top concern on the roads.
1. Drivers fear the aggressive driver (44%) more than the drunk driver (31%).
2.“For years the highway safety spotlight has been focused on the impaired driver, the speeding driver and the unbelted driver and passengers,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Ricardo Martinez. Today we must add the aggressive driver to the list of those contributing to the problems on our nation’s highways.
B. Ironically, the same survey showed that two out of three people admitted to driving aggressively in the last year.
1. ccording to a story in Time magazine, “Very few drivers admit to being an obnoxious road warrior.”
2. There seems to be only 3 types of people on the road these days: the insane (those who drive faster than you), the moronic (those who drive slower than you) and. . .you.
C. You may be familiar with the recently popular phrase “road rage.”
1. Road rage is when the aggressive driver goes to the extreme and may involve using a weapon whether it is the vehicle itself or a gun kept under the seat.
2. These kinds of incidents have also been on a steady rise.
Signpost: What can we do then to make sure that not only we are not victims of aggressive drivers but not become one ourselves?
IV. The Solution: There are really two types of solutions: one for the victim and one for the perpetrators.
A. According to a story in the Journal Star newspaper of Peoria, IL, here are some suggestions that AAA makes as to how drivers can avoid being the target of driver aggression:
1. Not blocking the passing lane;
2. Maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you;
3. First signaling your intentions when changing lanes and making sure you don’t cut someone off when you move over;
4. Do not succumb to displaying obscene gestures;
5. Use your horn sparingly;
6. Avoid the right hand lane if you are not turning right;
7. Don’t take up more than one space when parking and don’t park in a handicapped space;
8. Keep your headlights on low beam and don’t retaliate with high beams.
B. Now if on the other hand, you are the one late for work or just can’t wait to get home from a long week at work you may want to consider these suggestions.
1. Understand that you cannot control traffic, but you can control your reactions to it.
2. Giver the other driver the benefit of the doubt.
3. Before reacting to another driver’s mistake, ask yourself, “How many times have I made the same mistake?”
4. Berore starting anything, ask yourself, “Is it worth getting injured or killed? Is it worth a fine, jail or a lawsuit?”
5. How stupid will you feel when you are pulled over and the other driver waves as they pass you down the road?
V. Summarize: Today we have looked at the trend of aggressive driving.
.We have seen that it is a growing problem in our nation.
A. That it creates a very real problem to our everday lives.
B. And that there are things we all should do to insure that we do not fall victim to this problem.
VI. Close with Impact: So the next time you are driving down the road minding your own business and you get cutoff, make sure this in the only finger you give. (Thumbs up!)
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