Americans Have a Serious Anger Problem when Behind the Wheel
Apparently, almost four out of five people on the road are pissed off for one reason or anotherby Robert Moore, on
Just a few days ago, AAA released findings from a study that was put in motion to determine just how angry we get when we’re behind the wheel. The study involved questioning 2,705 licensed drivers that were 16 years of age or older and had driven within the last 30 days. It might seem like nearly every road rage incident you see on YouTube comes from some other country but, as it turns out, we Americans are pretty testy people ourselves. In fact, nearly 80 percent of the drivers questioned in this study reported feeling “significant anger, aggression, or road rage” at least once in the past year.
What’s more, the study suggests that nearly eight million U.S. have engaged in “extreme” road rage, which includes actions like ramming another vehicle or engaging in a confrontation with another driver. Jurek Grabowski, the Director of Research for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said, “Inconsiderate driving, bad traffic, and the daily stresses of life can transform minor frustrations into dangerous road rage. Far too many drivers are losing themselves in the heat of the moment and lashing out in ways that could turn deadly.”
AAA is also suggesting the almost two out of every three drivers believe that aggressive driving is more of a problem now than it was just a few years ago. The study shows that males and those aged between 19 and 39 years of age are more likely to engine in aggressive behaviors. Those in the Northeast region of the U.S. are more likely to “yell, honk, or gesture (think middle finger) aggressively. And, those who engage in unsafe behaviors like running red lights or speeding are more likely to show aggression than those who follow all traffic laws.
If these facts sound scary, keep reading to find out what kind of estimates AAA was able to make thanks to the results of this study.
Click past the jump to see the really scary stuff!!!
Why it Matters
After sifting through the results of the study, AAA is able to put together rough estimates of actions drivers have taken while on the road in the last year. It is estimated that:
- 51 percent of drivers (104 million people) purposefully tailgate
- 47 percent of drivers (95 million people) yell at others on the road
- 45 percent of drivers (about 91 million people) honk to show anger or annoyance
- 33 percent of drivers (about 67 million people) make angry gestures
- 24 percent of drivers (about 49 million people) intentionally try to block others from changing lanes
- 12 percent of drivers (about 24 million drivers) cut off another vehicle on purpose
- 4 percent of drivers (about 7.6 million people) exit their vehicle to confront another driver
- 3 percent of drivers (about 5.7 million people) bump or hit other vehicles on purpose out of anger or rage.
While these are of course estimates based on a study that involved less than 3,000 people, it still shouldn’t surprise you that the estimates are that high. It may not be caught on camera as much as in other places – like Russia, where dash cams are required in order to have vehicle insurance – but if you think hard enough you can probably recall at least one instance in the past week where you or someone else acted aggressively on the road. It would be interesting to see the results of a much larger study, but for now, I think this is enough. Let this study results and estimates sink in for a minute and think twice before acting crazy on the roads.