Road rage is a widespread problem with nearly 80% of drivers in the U.S. (and probably Canada, too) having expressed anger and aggressiveness behind the wheel at least once in the past 12 months, according to a recent study.
"Inconsiderate driving, bad traffic, and the daily stresses of life can transform minor frustrations into dangerous road rage," said Jurek Grabowski, Director of Research for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "Far too many drivers are losing themselves in the heat of the moment and lashing out in ways that could turn deadly."
The most common forms of road rage include:
- Purposefully tailgating: 51%
- Yelling at another driver: 47%
- Honking to show annoyance or anger: 45%
- Making angry gestures: 33%
- Trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes: 24%
- Cutting off another vehicle on purpose: 12%
What’s more, 4% of drivers admitted to getting out of the vehicle to confront another motorist, while 3% said they have once bumped or rammed another vehicle on purpose.
The study found that male and younger drivers ages 19-39 were significantly more likely to engage in road rage behaviours. In fact, men were more than three times as likely as women to have gotten out of a car to confront another driver.
Consequently, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends not trying to offend anyone on the road, showing tolerance and forgiveness, and calling 9-1-1 if necessary. Stay calm behind the wheel, even when another driver makes you angry. After all, you probably have been the cause of someone else’s road rage at one point or another…