AAA may have been a savior to many of us by now, but what they have discovered about road rage is extremely worrisome. Are people getting just too angry when they are behind the wheel? Many of us are caught red-handed on this subject because it is so common to yell profanity at fellow drivers and maybe drive a little too close to their back bumper. But these shocking statistics will put into perspective how many people are actually guilty of doing these things, and much more.
AAA’s study, which can be found on newsroom.aaa.com, estimates that about 80% of all drivers suffer from some level of road rage at some point in time. Tailgating the car in front of you may seem like a daily occurrence when driving anywhere, and for some may just be a force of habit, but according to AAA 51% of all drivers do it. This accumulates to 104 million drivers. Yelling at other drivers on the road, whether it is just within their own car, or actually out the window at the other driver, comes to about 47%, which is approximately 95 million drivers. This type of road rage, which I am sure many of us can attest to, does not appear to be uncommon, and can be seen as the overall issue. It seems that road rage has become much more of a problem over the past three years. Those who do not take part in these actions all that often, claim that they fear for their safety when sharing the roads with these consistently enraged people.
More threatening and serious forms of road rage like, cutting another car off intentionally, getting out of the car to confront the other driver, and actually ramming into another car and driving them off the road, have lower percentages. All being under 15% does not mean that these actions are really any more uncommon than the others.
Someone’s age significantly affects whether they are more prone to engage in road rage or not. The immense age gap from 19-39 is the prime age that most people will suffer from road rage. Also, AAA has determined that men are three times more likely to have more aggressive behavior than women. This includes ramming into other cars, blocking cars from changing lanes, and exiting their car to confront another driver.
Interestingly enough, even someone’s geographical region can affect their driving habits. People, like us, who live in the Northeast region of the United States are more likely to honk, yell, and use angry gestures to other drivers. This raises many
questions as to why this may be true. What makes the Northeast more aggressive and angry when behind the wheel than any other part of the country? Unfortunately, AAA does not have this answer for us. However, their statistics are more than helpful when it comes to trying to prevent our own reckless behavior, and being aware of others’ questionable actions.
For those that are of the less aggressive variety, the best thing you can do to avoid people like this on the road is to abide by state laws. Also, if someone uses one of these action toward you, do not retaliate, and keep your distance. We must be conscious of our own driving as well as the driving of others. Road rage has led to many accidents in the past year, numerous being fatal. Although it is not realistic that road rage will soon dissipate, we do have the choice to slowly diminish it.
Being relatively new drivers compared to the rest of the masses, we are the most prone to this kind of behavior. It can be assumed that more of us are guilty of doing at least one of the actions discussed, which is okay. The thing that needs to happen is just to be aware and be conscious. Allowing someone’s aggressive nature or reckless behavior, maybe even your own, put your life and others’ lives in danger is something we should all be in agreeance on that should not happen. AAA can help us when we are stranded on the side of the road, but that can only get us so far during our travels. Especially with Thanksgiving break fast approaching, we all must be alert on the roads and get back home safely.