Listen up, all you people in New York, Dallas, Detroit and Atlanta. Settle down. You, too, Minneapolis. There's no excuse for the kinds of things you're doing out there on the road. That's right, we saw you. Well, not us, but your fellow drivers who tattled on a new AutoVantage survey about road rage. Those were the five worst cities for road rage incidents this year, with respondents citing hot-tempered drivers and aggressive speeding and horn honking.
But wait – there are two sides to the road named rage. Something must have set off those finger-waving commuters. And that would have been all the other drivers out there who are talking on their phones, tailgating, eating, emailing and checking Autoblog on their netbooks and iPhones. Those people, the survey says, are the ones getting on the nerves of the short-fused.
So where can a mild-mannered driver go and cruise the roads in peace? AutoVantage's survey lists Portland, Oregon as the most courteous city with Cleveland, Baltimore, Sacramento and Pittsburgh following. While we're at it, we'd like to spotlight Baltimore as a shining example of how a city can make a road-rage u-turn. That city moved up from No. 4 on last year's least courteous list. Now why can't the rest of you behave as well?
Here's a few more interesting numbers the survey offers. St. Louis drivers, 92% of them, reported seeing someone talking on a mobile phone every day. It's also a city where you're more likely to see drivers eating in their cars. A majority of Minneapolis drivers surveyed said they witness tailgating every day, and that city's drivers also reported more incidences of red light running. In Miami, you're less likely to see drivers signaling lane changes but much more likely to get a text message from a fellow driver. Maybe they're just texting their intent to come into your lane. "Can U belev I jst got cutof??? Had 2 run light 2 catch up 2 him at 90mph!!!"
Ironically, 7% of the drivers surveyed said they reacted to displays of bad driving by calling the cops... on their mobile phones, we assume.
Check out the press release after the jump. But you might want to wait until you finish your drive home. It's kinda long.
AutoVantage Road Rage Survey Reveals Best, Worst Cities
NORWALK, Conn. - For the first time in four years, a new city claims the title as the worst in the U.S. for road rage.
New York has unseated Miami as the least courteous city, according to the fourth annual In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey, commissioned by AutoVantage, a leading national auto club. The Big Apple moved up from its No. 3 ranking last year to claim the distinction. Rounding out the five worst cities for road rage are Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Atlanta and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
The survey also named a new city as the most courteous. Portland, Ore., took the top spot, moving up from No. 2 last year. It was followed by Cleveland, Baltimore, Sacramento and Pittsburgh.
The In the Driver's Seat 2009 AutoVantage Road Rage Survey, released today, was conducted to determine the driving habits and attitudes of commuters across the country and to learn more about consumer views on the topic of road rage.
"At AutoVantage, we've made the drive easier every day by completing more than 1 million service calls for our customers, offering everything from 24-hour roadside assistance to towing to lockout service and more. This survey is another way we assist drivers by revealing the latest driving trends and attitudes to educate and influence safer - and perhaps more courteous - driving habits," said Brad Eggleston, vice president of AutoVantage.
The survey's best and worst cities are:
Least Courteous Cities (Worst Road Rage):
- New York
- Dallas/Fort Worth
- Minneapolis/St. Paul
- New York
- Washington, D.C.
Most Courteous Cities (Least Road Rage):
- Portland, Ore.
- Portland, Ore.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul
Other cities surveyed include Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.
To boost safety awareness, this year's survey sought to define road rage in America. Responses overwhelmingly pointed to two important attributes:
- Angry drivers, including drivers who overreact and lose their tempers
- Aggressive driving, including cutting into lanes, tailgating, speeding and honking
When asked the major causes of road rage, the most frequent responses were:
- Bad/careless driving, such as cutting others off, speeding, tailgating, talking on cell phones, making obscene gestures and not using proper signals
- People who are angry, stressed, frustrated, tired or had a bad day
- People being in a hurry, impatient or running late
- Traffic problems, accidents, poor road conditions or construction
- Inconsiderate, disrespectful, selfish drivers who think they own the road
- Drivers who talk on their cell phones (84 percent see this every day)
- Driving too fast (58 percent)
- Tailgating (53 percent)
- Drivers eating or drinking while driving (48 percent)
- Texting or e-mailing while driving (37 percent)
Commuters also reported other drivers frequently:
- Cutting over without notice (43 percent see this every day)
- Doing other things - putting on makeup, shaving or reading behind the wheel (27 percent)
- Slamming on the brakes (25 percent)
- Running red lights (22 percent)
As a reaction to rude or bad driving by others, people surveyed admitted that they:
- Honk their horn at the offending driver (43 percent admit doing this every month)
- Curse at the other driver (36 percent)
- Wave their fist or arms (13 percent)
- Make an obscene gesture (10 percent)
- Call the police to report the driver (7 percent)
- Slam into the car in front of them (1 percent)
Other key findings of the study:
- Younger drivers and those who have the longest commutes say they are most likely to talk on their cell phones and drive too fast on a daily basis.
- Talking on cell phone. Eighty-four percent see this every day. St. Louis drivers led this category (92 percent), and Portland motorists see it the least (76 percent).
- Driving too fast. Across the country, 58 percent see this aggressive behavior daily. San Diego and Houston drivers were most likely to observe speeding motorists (64 percent), while Cleveland, Denver and Portland drivers were least likely to see this every day (51 percent).
- Tailgating. Fifty-three percent of motorists see this every day. Minneapolis drivers (65 percent) see this most often, and Pittsburgh drivers (43 percent) see this the least.
- Eating and/or drinking. This common road rage trigger is observed by 48 percent of drivers daily. Motorists in St. Louis (61 percent) see this most every day, while only 34 percent of drivers in Pittsburgh observe it.
- Cutting over without notice. Nationally, 43 percent of drivers see this every day, and motorists in Miami (54 percent) were the most likely to observe this behavior. Cleveland, Philadelphia and Portland drivers (29 percent) are least likely to see this daily.
- Texting and/or e-mailing. These road rage inducers scored high with 37 percent of commuters observing this behavior every day. Drivers in Detroit and San Francisco see the most text-happy drivers (47 percent), while Baltimore and Sacramento see the least (28 percent).
- Slamming on the brakes. Some 25 percent of drivers witness this daily, and those in Atlanta and San Diego (31 percent) are most likely to see this behavior every day. That's compared to only 19 percent in Boston.
- Running red lights. Twenty-two percent said they see drivers every day who run red lights. Drivers in Minneapolis are the most likely to witness this behavior daily (34 percent), while Portland motorists (11 percent) were least likely to see this offense.
- Multi-tasking. Overall, 27 percent said they see other drivers multi-tasking, like putting on makeup, shaving or reading, while driving. Miami (38 percent) emerged as the city where this is most likely to be seen, while Phoenix and Sacramento (19 percent) drivers were least likely to see it.
Prince Market Research, an independent marketing research company, was commissioned to conduct a nationally representative telephone study with consumers in 25 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. to learn more about consumer views on road rage. All telephone calls were conducted between Jan. 8 and March 24, 2009, during which period, a total of 2,518 interviews, lasting an average of six to eight minutes each, were completed. No incentive was offered and the sponsor of the research was not revealed. The margin of error is +/- 2 percent.