Driving in South Florida can put you in the path of angry, aggressive drivers on a daily basis. But do you know just how common road rage is in the United States? The American Automobile Assocation’s (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety found that approximately 78 percent of U.S. drivers admit to reckless or aggressive behavior behind the wheel.
Road Rage Behavior By the Numbers
In 2014, the AAA Foundation conducted an online survey of 2,705 drivers ages 16 and up. The survey asked the participants to rank the frequency that they engaged in certain road rage behaviors. This self-reported portrait of road rage shows several dangerous activities are quite common on our roads.
The Foundation asked the group group to consider how often they engage in the following types of behaviors related to road rage:
- Honked their horn to show anger or frustration
- Yelled at another driver
- Made an offensive gesture at another driver
- Left their car to confront another driver
- Tailgated another driver
- Purposefully cut off another vehicle
- Bumped or struck another vehicle on purpose
- Purposefully blocked another vehicle from changing lanes
The most common offense was yelling at other drivers with 2.7 percent of the participants admitting to engaging in this behavior regularly.
The next most common regularly reported behavior was tailgating other vehicles, reported at 1.8 percent frequency.
Finally, honking to show anger or annoyance ranked third most frequent with 1.3 percent of drivers engaging in the activity regularly.
While these numbers seem low, consider the percentages of drivers who engaged in aggressive behaviors behind the wheel at least once:
- Purposefully bumped another vehicle: 2.8 percent
- Left their vehicle to confront another driver: 3.7 percent
- Purposefully cut off another driver: 11.9 percent
- Purposefully blocked another driver from changing lanes: 24.1 percent
- Made an angry or offensive gesture: 32.5 percent
- Honked their horn to show anger (not to avoid an accident): 44.5 percent
- Yelled at another driver: 46.6 percent
- Tailgated another driver: 50.8 percent
Who engages in road rage?
The highest demographic engaging in road rage was drivers between the ages of 25 and 39. Drivers over the age of 75 were the group least likely to perform any of the road rage actions. Among all the participants, men were most likely to engage in road rage; for example, nearly double the number of men over women admitted to cutting off other drivers.
Drivers in the Northeast and Midwest were more apt to engage in road rage than drivers from the South or West regions. Surprisingly, road rage incidents did not seem to vary much between drivers in rural areas, drivers in small or medium towns, and drivers in small or large cities.
Staying Safe Around Aggressive Drivers
If you notice a driver acting aggressively toward other vehicles, it is best to keep a safe distance away. If they cause an accident, stop and call 911 and stay at the scene if possible to render aid and serve as a witness for the police report. If an aggressive driver injures you, contact a South Florida car accident attorney for help in filing a case for injury caused by road rage.
Montero Law Center is here to help South Florida drivers recover from serious accidents. Call 954-767-6500 or fill out our online contact form to tell us about your accident.