Too many people die on our roads over the most insignificant of annoyances.
There's a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and there are few areas where this becomes more apparent than on the road. It could be the isolation of a long commute home that breeds a sense of self-righteousness and anger, but in any case, driving with an inflated ego is a dangerous thing. Backing these claims up is a new study from AAA that came up with some shocking findings about road rage. According to the study, 80% of Americans expressed anger, aggression, or road range behind the wheel of a car during the past year.
Interestingly enough, those who believe that road rage is a serious problem account for the same percentage of people. The data was taken from a survey of 2,705 drivers with ages ranging from 16 and up. This isn’t just yelling either; there are plenty of behaviors that can turn a situation that a mature adult would brush off their shoulders into a dangerous scenario that threatens everyone on the road. AAA found that up to 51% of drivers have tailgated another driver out of anger while 47% admitted to yelling at another driver. Another 45% of the study sample reports that they have honked at other drivers to express anger while 33% make gestures similar to the ones a Mercedes test mule driver once gave our spy photographers.
As the intensity of displays of anger increase, prevalence decreases with 24% of respondents conceding that they have blocked another vehicle from changing lanes, 12% confessing that they have cut another car off out of spite, and 4% claiming they have gotten out of their vehicles to confront another driver. As many as 3% of drivers, or 8 million Americans, disclose that they have rammed another vehicle in a fit of rage. It’s important to remember that as satisfying as it is to ruin someone’s day who made you wait an extra few seconds at a light, half of all fatal vehicle accidents involve aggressive behaviors behind the wheel. Fixing the problem may not be easy, but every decision to let go of that which does not matter helps.