No one wants to be on the receiving end of road rage, especially if it ends in a crash.
Sadly, road rage has become a normal part of city life around the United States. More than 80 percent of drivers admit to having anger, aggression, and road rage behind the wheel, according to a recent study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
With the increasing population in many of these areas, the roads can only get more congested. This means slower travel times and even more frustration.
As much as we like to poke fun at angry drivers in American culture, a personal encounter with road rage can be dangerous and frightening.
Wondering which U.S. cities have it the worst? Here’s our list of the top 8 cities with the worst road rage.
1. Los Angeles
If you ever find yourself passing through the great city of Hollywood and beaches, you WILL hit traffic. Many people choose to go around the city for this reason. The high population doesn’t help either. Los Angeles just hit 4 million people this year.
It can take a long time to get anywhere, and the drives are not scenic. You drive around in smog, sit in endless traffic jams, and fear getting cut off at any moment.
2. New York City
This might be the only city in America where the statement, “It’s better to just not have a car,” rings true. It’s quite obvious why the subway is a popular choice in New York. Unless you are an experienced taxi driver who knows the streets, driving around is full of standstills and beeping horns.
Florida is one of the most densely-populated states in America. It’s also home to some of the most dangerous freeways in the nation. Out of the top 10 most dangerous freeways, Florida highways take five of those spots.
On top of the growing population and dangerous freeways in Florida, a man was recently shot in the face in a road rage incident in Miami. This city is a great tourist destination, but you don’t hear about incidents like this every day. The southern Miami metropolitan area (Miami/Dade, Broward, Palm Beach) has grown to more than 6 million people, making it the 8th most populated area in the nation.
There have been multiple incidents of shootings because of road rage. One ASU student got shot after a fender bender. Situations can escalate quickly. That’s why avoiding road rage is important. You never know who is in the other car.
The number one cause of road rage is tailgating.
According to Donati-Grayman, spokesperson for AAA, “We have the majority of people [who say] this is a serious threat to their safety. Yet the majority of drivers admit to doing it.”
Tampa’s streets are congested throughout the day and are especially bad during rush hour. Due to the tight driving situation on the streets, you can often find people giving each other the finger, honking their horns in anger, and cutting each other off.
“It’s quite clear that Florida, in terms of overall population, is going to overtake New York,” says Ira Sheskin, chairman for the Department of Geography and Regional Studies at the University of Miami, “It won’t take much longer.”
Autovantage, a roadside assistance service, declared Houston as America’s road-rage capital. According to the company, Houstonians regularly cut off other drivers and slam on the brakes.
Also, almost half of all Texans fail to use their turn signals properly. You could imagine how frustrating this makes it for drivers. People are not mind-readers!
7. San Diego
Although much better than Los Angeles, you will find it hard to get to your destination during rush hour in San Diego.
It has great weather, and there’s nice scenery to look at while you’re waiting in traffic, but people are still in a hurry. It’s an expensive area, and people have jobs to get to and kids to take care of. Studies have found that, as the work week progresses, road rage builds and boils over on Friday.
Perhaps people are just stressed about work and not having enough money.
Everyone knows the Boston accent when they hear it. And for many Americans, it isn’t a surprise when they hear Boston makes the list for having some of the worst road rage.
It’s just too darn cold! On top of the cold, they have some of the worst traffic in the country. It’s obvious, traffic and biting cold are not a good combination for promoting politeness.
Road rage is dangerous. If another driver starts behaving aggressively toward you, do your best to not make eye contact. Keep calm, and let the other person become emotional. In dangerous situations, call 911.
Even though the simple “middle-finger” can seem harmless when the other driver rides away, never to be seen again, a bout of road rage can escalate into a life-threatening situation.
We all have somewhere to go. So instead of fighting over the road, let’s share it instead!
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