Aggressive driving causes some 66% of traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Now, a new study from Forbes Advisor explores which states have the most confrontational drivers.
Arizona leads the nation for the worst road rage, while Delaware boasts the most polite drivers. To determine which states have the most confrontational drivers, Forbes Advisor surveyed 10,000 licensed drivers and compared all 50 states across nine key metrics.
For example, Arizona ranked second worst for the percentage of drivers who have been forced off the road (22.5%) and tied with Oklahoma for having the third-highest percentage of drivers who have been tailgated (70.5%). Moreover, some 31.5% of Arizona drivers reported that another driver has exited their vehicle to yell at or fight with them — the fifth highest amount in the nation.
Rhode Island came in second on the list for most confrontational drivers. Here are some of the reasons why: Rhode Island drivers were most likely to report that another driver has yelled at them, insulted them, cursed at them, or made threats (96.5%). In addition, the state’s drivers tied with drivers from Texas for being most likely to experience honks of frustration (79%).
Additionally, nearly 64% of Rhode Island drivers reported that another driver has tried to block their car from changing lanes while nearly 63% said another driver has cut them off on purpose.
Ranking third for most confrontational drivers is West Virginia. Mountain State drivers were most likely in the nation to report that another driver has tailgated their car (77%), made rude or offensive gestures at them (75%), and exited their vehicle to yell at or fight with them (61%). What’s more, some 63% of drivers in West Virginia said another driver has cut them off on purpose.
Finally, West Virginia drivers were also fifth most likely to report that they have been forced off the road by another driver (13.5%) and that another driver has tried to block their car from changing lanes (61.5%).
Other States in the Top 5
Other states that ranked among the top five for road rage include Virginia and Oklahoma. Virginia drivers were third most likely in the nation to report that another driver has exited their vehicle to yell at or fight with them (50.5%), honked at them in frustration (78.5%) and yelled at them, insulted them, cursed at them, or made threats (89.5%). Nearly 60% of Virginian drivers say another driver has cut them off on purpose.
In Oklahoma, an alarming 60% of people said they experience road rage very frequently from other drivers in their home state — that’s the highest amount in the nation. Some 70% report that another driver has tailgated their car, nearly 60% say another driver has cut them off on purpose, and 14% claim another driver has forced their car off the road.
Other noteworthy findings from the survey include the types of roads and places that appear to trigger road rage. Drivers reported experiencing road rage most frequently on city streets (29.18%), on freeways or highways (26.59%), and in parking lots (14.9%).
Apparently, Southern hospitality doesn’t extend to Southern roadways. Five of the top 10 states with the most confrontational drivers are in the South — West Virginia, Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Texas. Meanwhile, four of the top ten states with the most polite drivers are in the Pacific and West, including Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, and New Mexico.
The survey also explored key reasons for road rage. Drivers surveyed cited heavy traffic as the biggest reason, with nearly 40% noting traffic as a key factor. Other top road rage triggers include already feeling stressed behind the wheel (38%), running late (34%), already feeling anger (32%), and feeling tired (27%).
In 2022, 413 people were injured in road rage shootings, a 135% increase from 2018, according to Forbes Advisor.