Even the calmest drivers have experienced the occasional moment of road rage as they suffer the follies of another rude or inconsiderate motorist. But what’s most likely to set us off? Getting stuck behind slow pokes who won’t move out of the left lane, tailgaters and those texting while driving are some of the most rage-inducing behaviors, according to a new study by travel site Expedia.
Curiously, the 2014 Road Rage Report found that 69% of those surveyed have been “flipped off” by another motorist for some perceived slight – but only 17% of those who responded to the study said they have ever extended a rude hand gesture on their own.
The report was released just in time for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer and the busiest highway travel season of the year.
“As the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day sees a huge spike in the number of drivers on the road,” said Expedia General Manager John Morrey. “The rule, as with airplanes and hotels, is that shared spaces demand decorum and attentiveness.”
We’ve all done something to tick off another driver – innocently or not – but some folks just seem intent on being rude, inconsiderate or even reckless. Indeed, despite the fact that almost every state now has a law against texting while driving, the risky act is still unpleasantly common – and rated by 69% of the drivers surveyed as the activity most likely to get their blood boiling.
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A close second on the list? The tailgater who seems to think that by riding three feet off your bumper they’ll somehow get to their destination a bit quicker. About 60% of the respondents listed that as a top road rage trigger.
Multi-taskers, who may be focusing on everything but driving, rated a complaint by 54% of those surveyed, followed by “Drifters,” who can’t settle into one lane, at 43%, and “Crawlers,” at 39%, who bump along at well below the speed limit.
Other road-rage inducing behaviors:
*The Swerver, who will suddenly change lanes or turn without signaling, at 38%;
*Left Lane Hogs, who will stay in the passing lane no matter how slow they’re driving or how many cars are behind them, 32%;
*The Inconsiderate, who make sure you don’t merge into their lane, perhaps putting them one car back in line, 30%;
*Speeders, who are running well about the local limit, 27%;
*Honkers, who seem intent on using the horn to express their frustrations, 18%;
*The Unappreciative, who can’t be bothered to wave or give thanks when you do them a favor, 13%; and
*Red Light Racers, who have to be prepared to blast off the moment the light changes; 12%.
While the survey found that motorists have a long list of peeves when it comes to how others drive, they also admit to some bad behaviors of their own. For one thing, 55% of the 1,001 drivers surveyed by Expedia acknowledged they sometimes use their own mobile phones while behind the wheel, whether to call or text.
And if the survey is an accurate indicator of how Americans drive, well, 70% of us have been guilty, at some point, of aggressive driving behaviors, whether speeding (58%), tailgating (28%), or yelling or swearing at another driver (28%).
Oh, and lest you think that men are the most likely to drive aggressively, the gender gap may be closing. While 74% of men admit to such behaviors, so do 67% of the women who were surveyed.
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The 2014 Road Rage Report – which has an error rate of plus or minus 3.1% — follows another recent survey that indicated Houston has the rudest drivers in the U.S. According to Expedia, however, New York City ranks on top, followed by Los Angeles and Atlanta. But big cities, in general, are seen as having the rudest drivers.
(Study finds Houston is America’s “Road Rage Capital. Click Here for the story.)
One response to “Swervers, Left-Lane Hogs and Honkers: What’s Most Likely to Trigger our Road Rage”
Probably 90% of the people in the U.S. operating a motorized vehicle should not be as they are incompetent and dangerous.
As far as road rage it fairly accurately reflects the downfall of ethics, respect and good judgment by many in the U.S. The motorways of the U.S. like much of society has become like the old Wild West where anything goes and the drug addicts with guns in their hands do whatever they please until they end up dead.