UPDATED: APRIL 27, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
Car ownership is expensive, especially with auto insurance premiums and unforeseen accidents. Every year, a portion of accidents can be attributed to road rage. This is especially risky for commuters and people who regularly use high-speed expressways or travel through busy areas with higher traffic volumes.
While you can account for your road rage and ability to stay calm in frustrating traffic situations, the only way to prepare for the attitudes and reactions of other drivers is through preparation and good defensive driving. This guide to road rage statistics in 2022 will help to give you an idea of what to expect and prepare for in the coming years.
Road Rage Statistics
The easiest way to understand the reality of road rage is to look at statistics. Some vital statistics to know include:
- CNN reports a 500% increase in reported road rage cases over the past decade
- The Insurance Information Institute reports that 56% of fatalities in 2003-2007 were linked to aggressive driving and road rage
- AutoVantage Club says that 37% of aggressive driving incidents involved a firearm
- The American Psychology Association reports that half of the drivers respond to careless or aggressive driving with increased aggression of their own
- The NHTSA reports that 300 deaths can be linked to road rage since 2013
- Over 80% of drivers have admitted to experiencing road rage
- The American Psychology Association links 30 murders to road rage each year
Knowing where you are most at risk of experiencing extreme road rage can also be helpful. To give a snapshot of this, here is a look at the most intense form of road rage: gun violence. The states with the most cases of road rage involving a firearm between 2017 and 2021 are:
Anyone driving in bad traffic or during busy hours has experienced frustration behind the wheel. They have also likely experienced the frustration of others through the avenue of honking, rude gestures, or even more aggressive behavior.
That said, angry and aggressive driving is hazardous, even if it doesn’t escalate to anyone getting out of their car and starting a physical altercation. Knowing the reasons behind road rage and the statistics can help to paint a clearer picture of what you should prepare to face on the road.
Why Does Road Rage Happen?
You don’t often hear about pedestrians screaming or giving each other obscene gestures. Even if someone is moving slowly or taking up space, people typically will quietly find alternate routes or keep their thoughts to themselves.
Much like bullies who hide behind internet screens, drivers guilty of road rage have a degree of separation from the recipients of the rage. There are fewer immediately apparent consequences to yelling at drivers you will likely never encounter beyond that moment than taking it out on people you are directly facing.
In addition to this degree of separation, environmental factors are significant in causing road rage. People will likely apply displaced stress and emotions to their driving in exceptionally crowded or patience-testing environments. Ultimately, aggressive drivers are people in confined spaces trying to get to their destination as efficiently as possible, making it easy for them to take out their frustrations on the road.
Unsurprisingly, aggressive emotions lead to aggressive driving. This leads to dangerous outcomes, including deadly accidents and long-term effects on mental well-being.
Accidents and Physical Harm
According to SafeMotorist, a total of 12,610 injuries and 218 murders have been attributed to road rage in the U.S. throughout a seven-year period in the 1990s. This has only worsened in recent years. Additionally, roughly 54% of accidents have reported aggressive driving as a contributing reason for the incident.
Physical altercations have also been a notorious result of some road rage. Road rage deaths due to gun violence have reportedly doubled following the pandemic. 522 people were shot in 2021.
In addition to physical harm, there are psychological consequences to road rage. Negative thoughts and emotions can seep into other areas of your life. Drivers prone to road rage often take out other life stress on their driving, and the same applies to the reverse. Growing angry or aggravated while on your daily commute can lead to a soured mood throughout the rest of your day.
This goes beyond a day-to-day basis. If you are experiencing high-stressed and aggravated commutes, you are dealing with this twice a day, five days a week. After a while, this contributes to long-term effects such as anger issues, anxiety, depression, and burnout.
While this is obviously exacerbated if the road rage is occurring on your end, it can impact you when other drivers behave poorly as well. Regularly dealing with honking, tailgating, obscene gestures, and generally negative experiences on the road will lead to negative outlooks that make the rest of life more difficult to handle.
Everyone makes mistakes regardless of how much you try to control your emotions. Sometimes, accidents can occur without being your fault at all. It is important to make sure you are properly insured in the case of a serious incident.
Having the right insurance not only includes the right provider but the right specific policy for you. You can find the best policy for you by factoring in your driving history and choosing a plan that best balances proper coverage with affordable premiums.
This is especially important if you live in areas notorious for road rage, such as Miami, Los Angeles, or New York.
Improving Road Rage
At the end of the day, the only person’s emotions and actions you can control are your own. That said, it is counterproductive to see this as a defeatest fact and to continue being a contributor to the problem at hand.
The best way to help improve the issue of road rage is to address your own first and to improve your response to the road rage you experience.
Steadying Your Emotions
The best way to address your own emotions and road rage is to make a conscious effort to regulate them. Take deep breaths in moments of high frustration or stress, and try to comport yourself as you would if you weren’t behind a wheel or computer screen. Building positive habits will only get easier over time.
Giving yourself ample time to get where you need to go is also helpful. The added anxiety of running late is enough to set most people over and make them more likely to grow rageful or develop aggressive driving behaviors.
If you find yourself impatient even when you aren’t running late, find a new compelling album or podcast to listen to while driving. You could also call a loved one through your Bluetooth speaker if possible. So long as you don’t find yourself too distracted, this added stimulation could give your brain something else to think about aside from aggravating traffic.
Dangerous driving is the leading cause of traffic fatalities. Even if you are surrounded by road rage, it is important to promote a safe driving environment yourself to the best of your ability. Respect the speed limit, always check for motorists before changing lanes, and keep yourself in check if you find yourself getting aggressive or impatient.
How to Respond to Road Rage
The quickest answer: let it go. The best way to respond to road rage is to avoid contributing to it yourself by growing irate. Reckless driving is more common the more emotionally compromised you become.
It is also important to develop strong defensive driving techniques for the areas of road rage that are out of your control. Always be alert, focused, and aware of your surroundings. Assume that other drivers will be more reckless than you so that you can respond quickly and safely if someone tailgates you, cuts you off, or whips around your motor vehicle.
What were the top causes of traffic congestion in 2022?
The average U.S. driver lost 51 hours of their year to traffic congestion. Three key factors include road work/construction, accidents, and traffic overload (especially during rush hour).
What percentage of Americans are “very angry” or “angry” while driving?
According to the AAA Foundation, almost 80% of American survey respondents have reported feeling “very angry” or “angry” while driving. They have also admitted to road rage actions such as honking, yelling, or obscene gestures.
What is the most common type of road rage?
Honking, yelling, and tailgating are the most common types of road rage. Other common incidents include obscene gestures and dangerous maneuvers such as cutting other drivers off. Rarer incidents of physical altercations or even murder (including road rage shootings) also occur every year.
How many people were killed as a result of road rage in 2022?
According to the AAA Foundation, about 30 deaths and 1,800 injuries can be attributed to road rage each year. This struggles to account for the real total, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that 66% of lethal accidents are a result of some degree of aggressive driving. This makes it difficult to pinpoint fatalities that are a direct consequence of road rage.
What percentage of drivers have admitted to experiencing road rage?
82% of drivers in the U.S. have admitted to driving aggressively or having road rage in the past year. Most road rage is displayed through honking, while over a third have also admitted to changing lanes without signaling, cursing loudly, hitting and running, or using obscene gestures.
Protecting Your Assets
Between road rage and other hazards, there is always a risk of collision or damage to your car. Whether or not it is your fault, it is important to make sure you have the best insurance for your circumstances to help cover more daunting costs.
That said, insurance itself isn’t cheap, especially if your premiums are particularly high. You can combat this by finding the right policy for your unique circumstances. Compare rates by receiving several auto insurance quotes today to ensure you find the right policy and provider for you.