In a ground-breaking piece of research, the AAA found that road rage has reached epidemic proportions. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that close to eight out of 10 Americans expressed some form of road rage in the past year. Of these, 3%, which represents 5.7 million drivers, reported “Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose.”
In a press release, the foundation said:
Nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year, according to a new study released today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The most alarming findings suggest that approximately eight million U.S. drivers engaged in extreme examples of road rage, including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver.
Jurek Grabowski, Director of Research for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, stated:
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.
The figures in detail:
A significant number of U.S. drivers reported engaging in angry and aggressive behaviors over the past year, according to the study’s estimates:
- 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)
Age and testosterone are also factors:
Male and younger drivers ages 19-39 were significantly more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors. For example, male drivers were more than three times as likely as female drivers to have gotten out of a vehicle to confront another driver or rammed another vehicle on purpose.
Imagine the potential problems if all these people carried guns.