Aggressive driving – sometimes elevated to road rage – is extremely common on American roads, according to recently released data.
Almost 80% of drivers have expressed anger, aggression or road rage at least once in recent years, according to Most recent survey data from the AAA Road Safety Foundation.
“Aggressive driving has increasingly become a major concern for many road users,” AAA said in a press release.
Almost 3% of drivers surveyed admitted to having struck or struck another vehicle intentionally, suggesting that around 5.7 million U.S. drivers did so in the past year, but the AAA says the prevalence actual drive may be higher because drivers may underestimate road rage and aggressive driving due to desirability bias.
In another example of road rage, around 4% of drivers reported getting out of their vehicle to confront another driver at least once in the past year, suggesting that around 7.6 million drivers have done so, reports AAA.
Here are the most reported road rage and aggressive driving behaviors:
- 51% tailgate express
- 48% exceeded the speed limit on a freeway at 15 mph
- 47% yell at another driver
- 45% honk their horns to show boredom or anger
- 34% followed too closely to prevent another vehicle from merging
- 33% make angry gestures
- 31% crossed a red light
- 28% merged into traffic even when another driver tried to close the gap
- 26% changed lanes quickly or very close behind another vehicle
- 25% accelerate when a vehicle tries to pass
- 24% prevent another vehicle from changing lanes
- 22% walked past a vehicle less than a car length
- 12% cut another vehicle intentionally
The AAA has also published suggestions on how to avoid conflicts on the road and how to deal with conflicts if they arise.
“You will see other drivers doing illegal, reckless and even incomprehensible things. Don’t respond personally, ”AAA said. “Most drivers don’t think about their impact on you; they are just in a hurry, distracted or upset. Staying calm and courteous while driving reduces the risk of an unpleasant encounter – with another driver and with law enforcement. “
AAA says that following the rules of the road is a good place to start: Maintain adequate following distance; use turn signals; allow others to merge; use high beams responsibly; and hit the horn if necessary, but avoid long explosions.
If a confrontation does arise, AAA has these tips for dealing with it:
- Avoid eye contact with angry drivers.
- Do not respond to aggression with aggression.
- If you are in danger, drive to a public place such as a police station, hospital or fire station.
- When parking, allow the room to retreat safely if someone is approaching aggressively.
- Use to honk for attention but stay in the locked vehicle.
- Be as calm and courteous as possible.
- If you feel threatened, call 911.