The In The Driver's Seat 2006 AutoVantage Road Rage Survey was conducted to determine the driving habits and attitudes of commuters across the U.S. and to learn more about consumer views on the topic of Road Rage.
"Road rage has unfortunately too often become a way of life, both on and off the track," said NASCAR driving legend and AutoVantage spokesman Bobby Hamilton. "More and more, in cities across America, people are acting out their frustrations with dangerous results. It's bad for professional and everyday drivers alike.
"Our new Road Rage survey shines the light on emerging driving trends, and there are some very interesting results."
The survey's best and worst are:
Least Courteous Cities (Worst Road Rage):
-- New York
-- Los Angeles
Most Courteous Cities (Least Road Rage):
-- St. Louis
Other cities surveyed include Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington/Baltimore.
"This new study focuses on important attitudes and habits of drivers on the open road nationwide," said Brad Eggleston, vice president of AutoVantage. "This groundbreaking research is an important tool to help educate and influence safer driving habits throughout the United States."
When asked the major causes of road rage in the survey, the most frequent theme was people being in a hurry, running late, being impatient and/or speeding.
-- "They are in a rush to get somewhere"
-- "People leaving too late and being in a hurry"
-- "People not going by the speed limit"
American drivers also feel that stress, frustration, bad moods, and being generally aggressive contribute to the widespread phenomenon of road rage.
-- "People being stressed out"
-- "People cut you off and do not signal"
-- "They think the road belongs to them"
Behaviors by other drivers that cause stress for commuters, and which can lead to road rage, include:
-- Driving too fast (57 percent observe this happening every day)
-- Tailgating (50 percent see this every day)
-- Cutting over without notice (44 percent see this every day)
Commuters also reported that other drivers frequently:
-- Talk on their cell phones (98 percent observe this at least once a
-- Run red lights (59 percent observe this at least once a week)
-- Slam on the brakes (54 percent see this happening at least once a week)
As a reaction to rude or bad driving by others, people surveyed reported that they:
-- Honked their horn at the offending driver (40 percent)
-- Cursed at the other driver (32 percent)
-- Waved their fist or arms (9 percent)
-- Made an obscene gesture (8 percent)
-- Called the police to report the driver (5 percent)
About one in one hundred (1 percent) said that they actually slammed into the car in front of them, although not always intentionally. "One time someone plowed into me, so I plowed into the back of another car," said one respondent.
Other key findings of the study:
-- Younger drivers, and those who have the farthest commutes are most
likely to react to an aggressive or rude driver.
-- There is no real difference between men and women when it comes to road
-- Besides talking on the cell phone while driving, the one thing that
drivers in this survey were most likely to have done is drive too fast
(64 percent admit that they do this at least some of the time).
-- Tailgating. Drivers in Miami are most likely to see this behavior daily
(63 percent), while drivers in St. Louis are the least like to see this
-- Slamming on the brakes. Drivers in Los Angeles (33 percent) and Miami
(33 percent) are most likely to witness this behavior daily, while
drivers in Minneapolis are least likely (14 percent).
-- Stealing parking spots. One-half (51 percent) witness this behavior
once in a while. Drivers in Miami (8 percent) are more likely to see
someone "stealing" their parking space than drivers in Dallas/Ft.
Worth, Washington/Baltimore and Cleveland.
-- Running red lights. One-fourth (24 percent) said they see drivers every
day who run through red lights.
-- Driving too fast. Drivers in Dallas/Ft. Worth (68 percent) are more
likely to see drivers driving too fast than those in Minneapolis (47
percent) and Cleveland (47 percent).
-- Talking on Cell Phone. Eighty percent say they see drivers every day
talking on their cell phone. A full 91 percent of Dallas/Ft. Worth
drivers said they see this behavior daily.
Overall, 30 percent said they see drivers doing other things like putting on makeup, shaving or reading while driving. Los Angeles (43 percent) emerged as the city where this is most likely to be seen, while Seattle (18 percent) emerged as the place where this behavior is least likely to happen.