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Study: Bad Driving Sparks Road Rage

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Lead-footed, reckless drivers, as well as discourteous motorists who text on cellphones or eat behind the wheel, can provoke others to road rage, according to research sponsored by AutoVantage, a roadside-assistance service.

Of the cities surveyed, New York, Dallas/Fort Worth and Detroit were the worst rated for road rage.

The study (conducted from Jan. 8 to March 24) examined data from 2,518 drivers in 25 metropolitan areas across the United States. Participants experienced rush hour traffic for at least 10 minutes, three times a week.

The number one answer for the cause of road rage was inconsiderate driving.

According to 2008 research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 80 percent of Americans thought aggressive drivers were a “serious” or “extremely serious” road safety problem.

In 2009, however, an AAA Foundation survey found that “nearly half of drivers reported exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph on major highways in the past 30 days, and 15 percent even admitted exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph on neighborhood streets.”

The foundation discovered that aggressive driving is involved in up to 56 percent of deadly vehicle crashes.

In the AutoVantage research, drivers admitted lashing out in the following ways at least once a month: Responding to aggressive driving, motorists…

• honked their horn at the offending driver (43 percent)

• cursed at the other motorist (36 percent)

• waved their fist or arms (13 percent)

• made an obscene gesture (10 percent)

• called the police to report the driver (7 percent)

• slammed into the car in front of them (1 percent)

“If you find yourself driving slowly in the passing lane, tailgating or doing other things to teach the other driver a lesson, you are also part of the problem,” AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger said in a public statement. “An aggressive driving act by one driver can trigger a disproportionate and potentially violent reaction from another driver.”


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