Nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year, according to a new study released today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study points to some alarming statistics including the fact that approximately seven percent of U.S. drivers engaged in extreme examples of road rage within the year. These more extreme forms of road rage including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver.
Drivers living in the Northeast were significantly more likely to yell, honk or gesture angrily than people living in other parts of the country. Drivers in the Northeast were 30 percent more likely to have made an angry gesture than drivers in other parts of the country.
“Inconsiderate driving, heavy traffic and the daily stresses of life can transform minor frustrations into dangerous road rage,” said Lloyd Albert, Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Northeast. “Far too many drivers are losing themselves in the heat of the moment and lashing out in ways that could turn deadly.”
A significant percentage of U.S. drivers reported engaging in angry and aggressive behaviors over the past year, according to study estimates:
Nearly 2 in 3 drivers believe that aggressive driving is a bigger problem today than three years ago, while nine out of ten believe aggressive drivers are a serious threat to their own personal safety.
Aggressive driving and road rage varied considerably among different driving demographics:
“It’s completely normal for drivers to experience anger behind the wheel, but we must not let our emotions lead to destructive choices,” continued Mr. Albert. “Don’t risk escalating a frustrating situation because you never know what the other driver might do. Maintain a cool head, and focus on reaching your destination safely.”
AAA offers these tips to help prevent road rage: