During our daily commute in Colorado, it’s not unusual to witness or be engaged in an incident of road rage.
An aggressive driver is weaving in and out of traffic and angers another driver already frustrated and tense from increasingly heavy traffic congestion. They engage in a cat and mouse game at 80 miles per hour.
A driver distracted while talking on a cell phone abruptly cuts into your lane with no signal almost causing a collision.
Another driver is tailgating the car ahead of him as a way to either make the slower driver speed up or move out of his lane. The slower driver decides to teach that guy a lesson and goes even slower, backing up traffic for blocks and making even more drivers angry. Not to mention horn honking, fist waving and flashing obscene gestures.
According to the AutoVantage 2009 Road Rage Survey, Denver, Colorado is the 13th Least Courteous City to drive in compared to 24 other major cities in the United States. This is a considerable slip from last year’s ranking of 11th place.
What contributed to Denver’s slip in the rankings? Denver drivers ranked high in several road rage inducing behaviors including:
– 2nd most likely to wave their fists or arms at another driver
– 2nd most likely to eat or drink while driving
The good news is, Denver won the number one spot for least likely to see motorists speeding on a daily basis.
Here are some findings from the survey.
Major Causes of Road Rage
– Bad/careless driving, such as cutting others off, speeding tailgating, talking on cell phones, making obscene gestures and not using proper signals
– People who are angry, stressed, frustrated, tired or had a bad day
– People who are in a hurry, impatient or running late
– Traffic problems, accidents, poor road conditions or construction
– Inconsiderate, disrespectful, selfish drivers who think they own the road
Actions that Trigger Road Rage (that were seen every day)
– Drivers who talk on their cell phones (84 percent)
– Driving too fast (58 percent)
– Tailgating (53 percent)
– Eating or drinking while driving (48 percent)
– Texting or emailing while driving (37 percent)
– Cutting over without notice (43 percent)
– Multi-tasking – putting on makeup, shaving or reading while driving (27 percent)
– Slamming on the brakes (25 percent)
– Running red lights (22)
Common Reactions to Rude or Bad Driving (those surveyed admitted they do this every month)
– Honk their horn at the offending driver (43 percent)
– Curse at the other drivier (36 percent)
– Wave their fist or arms (13 percent)
– Make an obscene gesture (10 percent)
– Call the police to report the driver (7 percent)
– Slam into the car in front of them (1 percent)
Here’s how the Top Ten cities rounded out.
Least Courteous Cities
1. New York
2. Dallas/Ft. Worth
5. Minneapolis/St. Paul
10. San Diego
Most Courteousl Cities
1. Portland, OR
6. Washington DC
7. Philadelphia (tie)
8. St. Louis (tie)
So, fellow Denverites, it looks like one of our New Year’s resolutions for 2010 should be: Let’s be a little more courteous on Colorado’s roadways.