Which Cities Have the Most Road Rage?
We surveyed 1,000 people and searched Twitter to find which cities and drivers have the hottest tempers on the road. Find out who they are and how to handle them.
Road rage has risen across the US recently, so we took to Twitter (and surveyed 1,000 drivers) to find where the angriest motorists are.
Road rage nation
When someone’s riding your bumper, it’s oh-so-tempting to tap your brakes and send them a message. But if you give in, you could be contributing to a larger problem in America today.
With tempers running hot on the road lately, we wanted to know where the biggest hotspots were across the US. So, we studied some tweets about it and asked 1,000 Americans to share their experiences with road rage.
Keep reading to find out which cities have the most hot-headed motorists, what driving behaviors they’re guilty of, and what the worst culprits have in common. Then, we’ll tell you what to do about it!
America’s crankiest cities
We scoured Twitter for posts with the hashtag #roadrage to see where most of America’s heated road incidents have happened. Many irritable drivers turned up in some surprising places, while others — not so much.
According to Twitter, the city with the most hotheads on the road was Eugene, Oregon.
You’d think that an artsy place known for organic farming and beautiful hiking trails would have peaceful roads, but Twitter tells another story. For every 100,000 people, 500 #roadrage tweets came from this Pacific Northwest town.
We found far fewer #roadrage tweets from the next city on our list, Atlanta, Georgia. But, unlike Eugene, Atlanta having a lot of testy drivers makes sense as the city suffers from heavy traffic and multiple bottlenecks.
Florida was home to more cities on our road rage list than any other state: Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale. This may not surprise Florida residents who know of the Florida Man — a meme stemming from viral news headlines about some Floridians’ questionable and outlandish illegal behaviors.
Denver ranked last among the top 20 cities with the most road rage. This Colorado city likely made the list thanks to its traffic congestion, which is considered the 15th worst in the country.
Key takeaway: Eugene, Oregon, was the No.1 city for road rage in the US.
The maddest motorists
Where do people expect to experience the most road rage, and from which drivers? Our survey respondents weighed in.
So, what might the angriest drivers have in common? Could their gender or where they live be a factor?
The answers to what types of people have the most road rage depends on who you ask. Overall, those we surveyed thought city drivers were the angriest (24%), followed by drivers in rural areas (22%) and the suburbs (16%).
Half of our respondents believed men were the most likely of all to show road rage — even more so than sports car drivers (35%).
Only 31% thought women were angrier drivers, but interestingly, most female respondents disagreed. Women were 71% more likely than men to accuse other women of road rage.
Considering most women tend to prefer practical cars like crossovers or minivans compared to men, this might have something to do with how many minivan owners admitted to “brake checking” other drivers (suddenly tapping the brakes to startle the driver behind, or worse).
Fortunately, only around a quarter of respondents (male or female) admitted to brake checking (26%). Instead, the activity most people admitted to doing while driving was speeding (40%).
Tesla drivers were the most likely to have chased or raced others on the road — a big no-no that only 20% of all drivers have been guilty of.
Perhaps the least dangerous driving activity people admitted to was singing loudly to the radio (29%). While this may be less risky than brake checking or speeding, it’s still pretty distracting — especially if you sing along to certain songs, like Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.”
Also distracting is texting while driving, a dangerous combo 19% have been guilty of (most of whom drove a Kia).
Key takeaway: Tesla drivers were the most likely to chase or race other cars while driving.
Aggressive driving isn’t just dangerous because it might get you in a car accident; it could get you shot. Next, we’ll explain why you should keep a cool head while behind the wheel.
City dwellers (39%) were the most likely to believe road rage is worse where they live than anywhere else. Wouldn’t that make sense, considering the congestion drivers in most major cities have to deal with every day?
Well, not so fast. Even more city drivers (53%) thought that fellow urbanites were just as prone to road rage as the average American. Drivers in rural areas, small towns, and suburbs were most likely to say the same about their nearby drivers, too — especially suburban drivers (67%).
Whether you think your town’s drivers are angrier than most, it’s safe to assume they may be packing heat. A whopping 65% of those we surveyed have kept a weapon in their car to defend themselves.
Most of the time, it was a knife (50%) or some pepper spray (45%) — the kind of thing you keep around in case you get physically threatened or attacked. But 40% said it was a firearm.
With road rage shootings reaching a record high last year, you might want to put a lid on it next time you start steaming at that driver who just cut you off.
Those most likely to keep a weapon in their car included BMW and Mercedes Benz drivers. Could these high-rollers feel more vulnerable than those driving less luxurious sets of wheels? Maybe.
Either way, better to assume everyone’s armed rather than to mess around and find out.
Key takeaway: Urban drivers were the most likely to believe road rage is worse where they live than anywhere else (39%).
How to handle hot-headedness
No matter what you’re driving or who’s on the road around you, giving in to road rage isn’t going to help anyone. Speeding, honking, and angry gestures might get your point across, but at what cost?
These dangerous behaviors can cause accidents, injuries, or fatalities, and they might even push someone to pull a gun.
For everyone’s sake, keep the tension to a minimum — your own and that of the driver swerving around you. Here are a few of AAA’s tips for handling heated situations on the road:
- Maintain a safe following distance. You never know when a driver is looking to get their rear bumper fixed on your dime (or that of your company).
- Only honk when necessary. Save your horn for what it’s meant for: alerting drivers and pedestrians to your presence for safety. Otherwise, it’s just a dangerous distraction.
- Don’t cause others to change their speed or direction. That means no brake checking or aggressive movements. If they’re driving like a maniac or riding your tail, just let it go.
- Be kind. If it helps, imagine the person who just pulled out in front of you lost their job today. You never know what their deal might be.
- Don’t engage. Avoid eye contact and certain hand gestures.
Don’t let someone else’s problem become yours. Keep a level head and follow these tips every time you drive. You might save a life, or at least your front bumper.
Circuit Route Planner surveyed 1,000 Americans about their perceptions of road rage and their own driving behaviors. This data was combined with a Twitter scrape of #roadrage and analyzed by the location of each tweet. All data are per 100,000 residents in the top 150 cities by population in the US.
About Circuit Route Planner
Circuit Route Planner gets you and your team where you need to go safely and efficiently, no matter how many stops are on the list.
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