Over the years, cars have become safer and traffic laws more stringent. Yet, we remain as vulnerable to road rage-related incidents as before. Unfortunately, this is probably not going to change unless we understand the nature of the beast — road rage begets road rage.
Aggressive driving behavior is nobody’s friend. It puts everybody in danger — the aggressor, the victim, and other road users. So the onus is on each of us to do our bit to kill road rage (instead of letting it harm us and others).
Most Disturbing Road Rage Statistics
- Road rage is the leading cause of accidents
- Over one-third of road rage cases involve firearms
- 30 murders are attributed to road rage every year
- Eight in 10 drivers experience road rage
- Two out of three traffic fatalities occur due to aggressive driving
- Teenage boys are most likely to exhibit signs of road rage
- Mississippi is the state with the worst drivers in 2018.
Road Rage Deaths Statistics
1) Road Rage is the leading cause of accidents.
According to the data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94% of traffic accidents occur due to human error. Nearly a third of these could be directly linked to aggressive driving behavior, such as speeding, tailgating, illegal maneuvering, or changing lanes without signaling.
(Source: Safe Motorist)
2) Every second driver who experiences bad driving behavior turns into aggressor herself.
Aggressive driving statistics shared by NHTSA show that 50% of victims of aggressive driving behavior reply in the same way.
(Source: Safe Motorist)
3) 2% try to force an aggressor’s car off the road.
More worryingly, 2% of the drivers who are at the receiving end of rude behavior don’t stop at honking, tailgating, or illegal maneuvering. In fact, they go a step further and try to drive the other person off the road.
4) Over one-third of road rage incidents involve firearms.
Just when you thought these stats couldn’t get any scarier, here comes another chilling fact — 37% of bad driving incidents involve at least one weapon! This, in turn, not only puts the lives of the involved parties in danger but also the lives of other road users.
5) The national death rate per 100 million vehicle miles is declining.
At last a bit of encouraging news after a series of disturbing stats. Road rage deaths statistics show that both the number of road deaths and death rates have fallen considerably over the years (although both are still too high for comfort).
While in 1994 the number of road traffic deaths was roughly 40,700, this figure in 2016 was 37,500. Meanwhile, the traffic-related death rate dropped by 32% from 1994 to 2016. Almost every state saw a consistent decline in the death rate per 100 million vehicles miles during this period. However, in some states, such as Arizona, the 2016 traffic-related death rate was higher than the previous years.
(Source: Smart Asset)
6) 30 murders are attributed to road rage every year.
Considering how dangerous road rage can be, you might be wondering, “How many road rage fatalities are there each year?”
Over a period of seven years, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 218 deaths were linked directly to road rage, which roughly comes to 30 fatalities a year. During the same time period, over 12,600 injuries were attributed to road rage.
7) Traffic police is the best deterrent to aggressive driving.
According to a survey conducted by NHTSA, the best way to reduce unsafe driving is to increase traffic policing.
Aggressive Driving Statistics
8) Eight in 10 drivers experience road rage.
This statistic proves that road rage is more common than many think. In a survey, 80% of drivers reported engaging in some kind of aggressive driving behavior at least once in a year. If that’s not frightening enough, the survey also revealed that 8 million drivers exhibited extreme road rage, like bumping another vehicle from behind or confronting the other driver on foot.
9) Intentional tailgating is the most common kind of aggressive driving behavior.
In a road rage survey involving over 2,000 licensed drivers, 51% admitted to engaging in intentional tailgating in the last 12 months. Other common aggressive driving behaviors are shouting at the other driver (47%), honking to show anger (45%), and blocking another car from changing lanes (24%).
Meanwhile, in another survey conducted by AAA, speeding emerged as the most common aggressive driving behavior. Nearly half of the respondents said that they had broken the speed limit at least once in the last 30 days.
(Source: Psychology Today)
10) Two out of three traffic fatalities occur due to aggressive driving.
Roughly 30,000 people die in car accidents every year. Of those victims, 66% lose their lives due to dangerous driving, according to recent road rage fatality statistics.
(Source: Credit Donkey)
11) Speeding contributed to 26% of total traffic fatalities.
According to NHTSA, speeding killed more than 9,000 people in 2017. Two single most contributing factors to aggressive driving are traffic congestion and running late. However, as NHTSA points out on its website, faster doesn’t mean safer. By respecting the speed limit, we can keep ourselves and other road users safe.
Road Rage Facts Related to Distracted Driving
12) Distracted driving kills about nine people and injures more than 100 every day.
Not texting while driving seems to be an easy decision. However, a large number of people can’t resist using their mobile or reaching for an object while driving. These distractions, in turn, cause huge losses. So the next time you are driving, make sure you pull over to the side of the road if you need to text or grab an object.
13) Distracted driving accounts for 49% of all cases of road rage.
Latest road rage statistics reveal that nearly half of the road rage cases occur because someone behind the wheels lost their focus. Another big cause of road rage is drunk driving.
(Source: Car Pro USA)
14) Texting while driving causes six times more accidents than driving under the influence of alcohol.
Think drunk driving is more dangerous than distracted driving? Think again.
Research shows that people who text while driving are more likely to end up in an accident than inebriated drivers. While distracted driving appears to be the bigger evil of the two, both of them cause a large number of accidents every year and are a big cause of road rage, as proved by the latest stats on road rage.
Therefore, the fact of the matter is that you should get behind the wheels only when you are sober, calm, and focused.
15) 44% of road rage cases are triggered by drivers who get cut off.
Getting cut off is another common cause of road rage, accounting for 44% of incidents. So make sure you don’t aggressively drive in front of another car without giving the driver an advance notice. And in case someone cuts you off, well, take a deep breath and try to stay calm, for the sake of everyone’s safety.
(Source: Serenity Insurance)
Road Rage Statistics by State
16) Mississippi is the state with the worst drivers in 2018.
According to a recent study, Mississippi is home to the worst drivers in the US. The researchers mined data regarding the average number of fatalities per miles driven, the percentage of drivers with auto insurance, the number of DUIs per driver, and how frequently residents searched online for terms like speeding ticket or traffic ticket.
Statistics reveal Mississippi had the poorest record overall, with 1.69 fatalities per 100 million vehicles miles driven, 76.3% of insured drivers, and 3.41 DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers. Given its pathetic record, you might be thinking, “How many road rage fatalities are there each year in Mississippi?”
While this data is not available, we do know that Mississippi has a very high number of traffic fatalities. For instance, in 2016 alone, nearly 700 people lost their lives on Mississippi roads.
(Source: Smart Asset)
17) However, South Carolina has the highest number of deaths per 100 million vehicles miles traveled.
Dismal as Mississippi’s record is, South Carolina has even worse traffic-related death rate — 1.86 deaths per 100 million vehicles miles driven, compared to Mississippi’s 1.69.
(Source: Smart Asset)
18) Massachusetts is the safest driving state in 2019.
According to an Allstate study that analyzed the latest road rage statistics by state, Massachusetts is the safest state to drive in. Massachusetts and other northeastern states, like New Jersey and New York, have a speed limit of 55 – 65 miles per hour, which in turn helps improve road safety. By contrast, southern and western states allow motorists to go up to 70 – 75 miles per hour.
19) Nebraska has the highest rate of insured drivers, but its traffic-related death rate isn’t impressive.
While Nebraska boasts of the best rate of insured drivers (95.5%), road rage death statistics reveal that its traffic-related death rate is not all that great. At 1.05 deaths per 100 million vehicles miles driven, it is considerably behind Massachusetts (0.63), the top-ranking state in this category.
And in case you are wondering which state has the lowest traffic-related death rate, the answer is South Carolina, with 1.86 fatalities per 100 million vehicles miles traveled.
(Source: Smart Asset)
20) Brownsville, TX has the safest drivers in 2019.
Recent road rage statistics show that Brownsville, TX, is the safest city to drive in, followed by Boise, ID, and Huntsville, AL. The other top-ranking cities include Kansas City, KS, Laredo, TX, and Olathe, KS.
21) Baltimore, MD, has the worst drivers in 2019.
In a survey involving 200 cities, Baltimore, MD earned the dubious distinction of being the city with the worst drivers. Washington, D.C. and Boston, MA were second and third from the bottom, respectively.
Road Rage Statistics by Gender
22) Men display signs of road rage more than women.
Statistically speaking, men are more prone to road rage than women. In a survey, 56% of men reported feeling intense anger while driving on a daily basis, compared to 44% of women.
23) Men are at the receiving end of aggressive driving behavior more often than women.
In a survey, roughly 39% of men have been a victim of road rage, compared to 29% of women. Road rage statistics by gender also reveal that men are more likely to respond in kind when they experience road rage directed at them.
24) Men are four times more likely to drink and drive than women.
Men are not only more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol than women, but they are also more likely to break the speed limit, not wear seatbelts, and make unwise choices while driving.
Road Rage Statistics by Age
25) Millennials are involved in aggressive driving accidents more than Gen X.
Younger drivers are usually more associated with aggressive behavior, and recent stats confirm that’s the case. Men and women born between 1981 and 1996 (commonly called millennials) were found to be involved in over 50% of all road rage accidents.
By contrast, Gen X (those born between 1965 and 1980) were involved in only 21% of all road rage accidents.
Not surprisingly, road rage statistics by age show the baby boomers (individuals born between 1943 and 1960) were least likely to indulge in reckless driving behavior. They took part in less than 5% of all accidents due to dangerous driving.
(Source: AutoInsurance Center)
26) 20% of millennials said that they slow down when others try to overtake them.
This fact is in line with the previous one, and both prove that millennials are more likely to exhibit rude behavior while driving.
27) Teenage boys are most likely to exhibit signs of road rage.
Perhaps it’s because of their lack of experience or inability to manage anger, but recent road rage facts show that men under 19 years of age are most vulnerable to road rage.
28) 36% of teenagers admitted to exhibiting angry driving behavior.
Eight out of 10 teenagers agree that aggressive driving is dangerous, but over one-third state that they drive aggressively. More worryingly, 31% of them retaliate when they are on the receiving end of aggressive of road rage, putting their and other people’s lives in danger.
(Source: PR Newswire)
29) 14% of accidents linked to road rage involve someone aged between 18 and 24.
Recent statistics on road rage show that young drivers are engaging in aggressive driving behavior.
Road Rage and Car Insurance
That road rage will make your rates skyrocket should surprise absolutely no one. After all, it’s one of the leading causes of automobile accidents and fatalities in the US.
While there’s no citation for road rage as such, you’ll likely receive a reckless driving or racing citation. And according to our guide for high-risk drivers, your insurance company will increase your rates by as much as 150%.
While these facts are disturbing, the purpose behind sharing them was not to scare you but to make you more aware. Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road and don’t engage with other drivers. Seek help in case you find it hard to control your anger.
As the above-mentioned road rage statistics show, safe driving behavior and good anger management and coping skills can help save not only your life but also the lives of others around you.