AAA: 78% of drivers have expressed road rage

Posted at 7:45 AM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 14:27:00-04

A new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 78% of drivers admitted to expressing significant anger, aggression or road rage.

Researchers collected data from 2,705 drivers ages 16 and older who had driven in the last 30 days. Here's what they admitted to, along with the equivalent number of drivers in the United States, according to AAA:

  • Purposefully tailgating: 51 percent (104 million drivers)
  • Yelling at another driver: 47 percent (95 million drivers)
  • Honking to show annoyance or anger: 45 percent (91 million drivers)
  • Making angry gestures: 33 percent (67 million drivers)
  • Trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes: 24 percent (49 million drivers)
  • Cutting off another vehicle on purpose: 12 percent (24 million drivers)
  • Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver: 4 percent (7.6 million drivers)
  • Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose: 3 percent (5.7 million drivers)

The study found men and younger drivers (ages 19 to 39) were more likely to engage in these behaviors. Male drivers are three times more likely than female drivers to have exited their own vehicle to confront another driver.

Researchers say the most troubling part of  the study was the number of drivers who admitted to taking part in extreme examples of road rage in the past year: 4% of drivers admitted to getting out of their car to confront someone, and 3% admitted to purposely ramming another vehicle.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety offers these tips for keeping yourself out of a road rage situation:

  • Don’t Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing another driver to use their brakes, or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
  • Be Tolerant and Forgiving: The other driver may just be having a really bad day. Assume that it’s not personal.
  • Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 9-1-1 if needed.