In Oregon, as in other states, road rage is on the increase at an alarming rate, leading to rising levels of attacks and serious injuries. Our road rage injury lawyers want to share the results of a recent survey which discusses which cities have the most aggressive drivers, as well as suggestions on how to reduce both the number of incidents and the things that cause road rage in the first place.
Cities with Most Aggressive Drivers
According to the Auto Vantage survey, the areas that have the greatest requirement for road rage injury lawyers are, not surprisingly, cities that are densely populated and which have a very diverse driving community, i.e. a broad mix of both old and young drivers with very different ideas about what constitutes safe driving practices. In order of severity, the five cities where you’re most likely to find high levels of road rage are:
- New York City
- Los Angeles
- Washington D. C.
Cities with Least Aggressive Drivers – Portland
In spite of the worrying growth in Oregon road rage incident numbers, there are a number of cities where drivers have shown themselves to be exceptionally courteous and well-behaved. And at the very top of that list, the city with the most courteous drivers in the entire country was reported to be Portland. In order, the five cities with the most polite drivers are:
- Seattle/Tacoma Greater Metropolitan Area
- St. Louis
- Dallas/Fort Worth
Causes of Road Rage
The national auto discount club, Auto Vantage, asked participants in the poll about the behavior of other road users. Those surveyed said they feel the following are the greatest contributors to road rage incidents:
- Feelings of being rushed
- Seeing other drivers who are speeding
- Being stuck in traffic
- Changing lanes without using a signal
- Seeing other drivers talking on cell phones
- Watching other drivers run red lights
- Honking the horn
- Angry or obscene gestures from other driver
Road Rage Statistics Show Men Are the Biggest Culprits
Not surprisingly, men are more prone to road rage than women, and young men in particular tend to react badly when provoked. The most aggressive of all drivers, according to a Rage-Depression survey, are adult males under the age of 19.
More men also admit to feeling rage more frequently and to a greater extent than do women. More than half the men surveyed (56 percent) said they experience road rage on a daily basis, compared to 44 percent of women drivers. More men also admitted attempting to retaliate against the road user that upset them in the first place. One possibly worrying statistic is that the gender gap appears to be narrowing rapidly, with more and more women each year admitting experiencing road rage.
Other notable statistics discovered through the survey include:
- Half of all drivers who have been at the receiving end of an obscene gesture, or who have been cut off or tailgated admit responding with honking horns, obscene gestures of their own, or cutting off the offending driver.
- More than one in three (34 percent) honk their horns at the aggressor.
- More than one in four (27 percent) yell, even when they know they can’t be heard.
- Almost one in five (19 percent) admit making an obscene gesture.
- Flashing their headlights is the preferred response of 17 percent of drivers who have been offended.
- Seven out of 100 drivers mimic the initial aggressive driving behavior.
- One of the more frightening statistics to emerge is that 2 percent of drivers were willing to admit that they try to run the other aggressive driver off the road!
- Drivers aged 65 and over are far less likely to engage in road rage, with just 30 percent making aggressive responses.
- Another worrying statistic is that drivers with children are more likely to respond aggressively than drivers without, at 59 percent to 45 percent, respectively.
Ways to Combat Road Rage
All road rage injury lawyers know that it takes two to tango. It’s a very rare case where only one driver is involved in a road rage confrontation, so they have made a number of suggestions for dealing with road rage. In most cases, the very best way to avoid a confrontation is to simply ignore the other driver’s aggressive behavior. Think of it in these terms:
- Attitude. Driving is not meant to be a competitive sport. The object of the exercise is to get from Point A to Point B safely. Concentrate on that, and let the others do the crazy stuff.
- Intelligence. If another driver wants a fight, he or she will find it very difficult if they’re on their own. Don’t get sucked in to an argument. It’s very unlikely either of you are going to end up admitting you were wrong.
- Courtesy. It costs you nothing, so you might as well spread it around. If you have to make a mistake, err on the side of courtesy, rather than aggression.
- Turn signals are handy. They let other drivers know what you’re planning to do and eliminate surprises that can often lead to road rage incidents. Yet half the population doesn’t use their turn signals on a regular basis.
- Changing lanes sensibly. Cutting off other drivers is one sure way to trigger a road rage incident. Ensure you have plenty of room before making your move.
- What lane are you in? If you’re driving in the left lane slower than the main body of traffic is moving, you’re asking for trouble. Even if you’re doing the limit, if you’re in the left lane and someone behind you wants to get past, do the polite thing and move over.
- Tailgating. Think of it this way; keeping a safe distance away never annoyed anyone.
- Stay away from trouble. If you see someone driving aggressively or dangerously, keep a good distance between your vehicle and his.
- Apologies. They’re fantastic for defusing a potentially volatile situation. If you make a mistake, try to signal the other driver an apology with an appropriate gesture.
Many of these things are just common sense, but sadly, that’s exactly what’s lacking in virtually all road rage incidents. People are being attacked, run off the road and injured every day over what could have been small, insignificant or even imagined mistakes that didn’t happen. If you or a member of your family has been injured in such a case, you should seriously consider contacting road rage injury lawyers. They will listen to your story and advise you of your rights, and if you decide to proceed with a claim, they will fight for the compensation you deserve.