The Grinch Behind the Wheel

Don't be a naughty holiday driver and endanger yourself and others in what should be a relaxing, safe time of year.An online survey of 1,000 motorists reveals nearly half admit to driving aggressively because they were late, frustrated by congestion or snared in a road construction back-up.

Conducted in the fall by State Farm and KRC Research, the survey found 64 percent of drivers encountered an aggressive motorist six times or more in the previous three months. Fort-four percent said they engaged in aggressive driving in the same period.

Traffic jams were cited as most responsible for aggressive driving (63 percent), followed by running late (55 percent) and road closures or construction (47 percent).

Holiday driving bedevils younger drivers more (32 percent) than drivers ages 50 or older (9 percent) and parents (30 percent) more than non-parents (15 percent).

Half of the survey respondents regard men and women drivers as equally courteous, but 54 percent perceive men as more likely to erupt into road rage.

Naughty driving is described by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as speeding and going too fast for road or weather conditions.

Motorists are reminded that running red lights is one of the chief causes of injury car accidents.

"Recognize it's not personal and not a race," advises State Farm.

Drive smart, drive defensively and enjoy a happy, safe holiday season.