Some 95% of drivers say they observed road rage or aggressive driving in the past year, but only 64% of drivers admitted to doing it, according to a 2021 survey from The Zebra.
Hostile driving appears to be the new norm on our national highways and byways. While 35% of people are driving less today, one in five drivers surveyed say they experience more frustration while driving compared to before the pandemic.
And here’s a scary fact: One in four drivers admits to keeping a weapon or safety device in their vehicle. While the survey doesn’t say exactly why drivers feel a need to travel “armed,” perhaps it’s in case they feel the need to protect themselves from a hot headed motorist.
For example, in Florida, 35% of drivers said they keep a weapon or safety device in their vehicle compared to 34% of California drivers and 28% of Texas drivers. In Florida, the most carried weapon is a gun versus pepper spray in Texas and a knife in California.
The survey also explores triggers that put drivers into a stressful emotional state. The top cause of anger and frustration behind the wheel is distracted driving on the part of other drivers — with 63% of respondents citing it as compared to just 42% in 2019.
While speeding is considered aggressive, drivers are more frustrated by people going “too slow,” with 46% citing it as an annoyance versus going “too fast” (34%).
As for just what constitutes road rage or aggressive driving, changing lanes without signaling was the most commonly observed aggressive behavior, with 82% of drivers saying they witnessed it. About 80% of drivers witnessed distracted driving, and three out of four observed other dangerous behaviors involving traffic, like speeding and weaving in and out.
The online survey of 979 drivers from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., ages 17-85 who drive at least monthly was conducted from Sept. 27-Oct. 9, 2021.