80 percent of drivers express significant road rage, AAA says - WFSB 3 Connecticut

80 percent of drivers express significant road rage, AAA says

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(AAA photo) (AAA photo)
(WFSB) -

Bad drivers have a way of getting under people's skin, particularly in New England.

According to new research from AAA, they get the better of 80 percent of people.

The auto club said about 8 million drivers in the U.S. have engaged in extreme examples of road rage, including intentional ramming or getting out of their vehicle to confront an offending driver.

“The AAA research indicates that sooner or later almost all drivers behave badly,” said Amy Parmenter, an AAA spokesperson. “But that 8 million take it to such an extreme, is extremely frightening."

AAA also said nine out of 10 drivers believe aggressive drivers are a serious threat to their personal safety. Nearly two out of three believe aggressive driving is a bigger problem today than three years ago.

The spotlight for bad driving is brightest in the northeast.

“Unfortunately, the results of the AAA study do not shine a friendly light on drivers here in the northeast," Parmenter said.

According to researchers, drivers in the northeast:

  • Were significantly more likely to yell, honk or angrily gesture.
  • Have male drivers between the ages of 19 and 39 engage in aggressive behaviors.
  • Demonstrate unsafe behaviors like speeding, running red lights or purposely cutting off other drivers.

“It’s completely normal for drivers to experience anger behind the wheel, but we must not let our emotions lead to destructive choices,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “Don’t risk escalating a frustrating situation because you never know what the other driver might do."

According to AAA, most drivers admitted to this in the past year:

  • Purposefully tailgating: 51 percent (104 million drivers)
  • Yelling at another driver: 47 percent (95 million drivers)
  • Honking to show annoyance or anger: 45 percent (91 million drivers)
  • Making angry gestures: 33 percent (67 million drivers)
  • Trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes: 24 percent (49 million drivers)
  • Cutting off another vehicle on purpose: 12 percent (24 million drivers)
  • Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver: 4 percent (7.6 million drivers)
  • Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose: 3 percent (5.7 million drivers) 

AAA said its research is available on its Foundation for Traffic Safety website here.

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