Road rage is most likely to occur in certain cities at certain times of the day, according to a new study by the Auto Insurance Center.
We’ve all been there. We’re driving down a street or a freeway minding our own business and road rage strikes. A driver revs up his engine and passes us on the right side while we’re going the speed limit. Another driver recklessly weaves in and out of lanes. People stubbornly refuse to let others merge in.
Many of these rude and dangerous games play out in major cities.
Not surprisingly, drivers are most likely to experience road rage in New York City or Los Angeles, the study shows. Gridlocked roads and long commutes can ignite angry drivers, according to the New York City comptroller’s office.
The Auto Insurance Center used geo-located Instagram posts to determine when and where drivers are most likely to get aggressive. The study looked at 65,535 posts with the hashtag #RoadRage to rank the worst cities. Adjustments were made to account for population.
Popular words in the posts included “crazy,” “angry,” and “terrible,” along with a selection of profanities, the report stated.
Although it is interesting to see how people are using social media to vent about road rage, the method raises questions. For example, not everyone uses Instagram. Yet a lot of people do. Instagram has about 400 million users, ranking it above Twitter, CNBC reports.
High levels of road rage in New York City and Los Angeles are to be expected. But what is happening in the tiny town of Mount Pleasant, North Carolina? The rural area ranked third in the study. It’s also interesting to note that seven California cities round out the top 24 worst places for road rage.
The Auto Insurance Center ranks the top 24 states as follows:
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- Mount Pleasant, N.C.
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Anaheim, Calif.
- Houston, Texas
- Austin, Texas
- Santa Monica, Calif.
- Washington, D.C.
- Weehawken, N.J.
- Beverly Hills, Calif.
- Culver City, Calif.
- Hoboken, N.J.
- Miami, Fla.
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- Culver City, Calif.
- Boston, Mass.
- Hoboken, N.J.
- Honolulu, Ha
- Portland, Ore.
- Scottsdale, Ariz.
Hawaii showed the highest incidents of posts on Instagram, with 5,872 per 100,000 drivers. This is likely due to gridlock and the number of lost tourists on the roadways, based on information in other studies, the Center reported.
The time of day and even the time of year also play a factor in road rage. The study found that most road rage happened in the morning and evening rush hours. More than 8,800 of the messages (13.4 percent) came between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., suggesting people are in hurry to get home from work.
In addition, the study found August is the worst month for road rage.
On a daily basis, headlines tell of road rage incidents that lead to flared tempers, injuries, and sometimes death. Since 2004, road rage has increased the number of fatal accidents by about tenfold, the Washington Post reported.
In a bizarre twist, a Florida driver in April sought to have a second-degree murder charge dropped against him for shooting and killing another driver. It’s part of Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law that allows motorists to defend themselves, the Associated Press reported.
According to reports, Robert Gelles, 63, shot Joseph Bailey, 44, after the two collided while driving near an intersection in Port Orange, Fla. Gelles told police he felt he was in grave danger when Bailey got out of the car and walked toward him. The two had been cutting each other off prior to the accident, witnesses reported.
Allowing yourself more time to travel, keeping stress in check, and letting angry drivers simply go on their angry way can help you avoid road rage, according to Geico.
[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]