Road Rage Survey Reveals Best, Worst Cities

Norwalk, Conn., May 15, 2007 /PRNewswire/ — The second annual In The Driverís Seat Road Rage Survey, commissioned by AutoVantage, a leading national auto club, found that the least courteous city in the country is Miami, followed by New York and Boston. Itís the second consecutive year that Miami claimed the top spot. The other two cities with the worst road rage were Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

The most courteous city is Portland, Ore., followed closely by Pittsburgh, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Louis and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

The In The Driver's Seat 2007 AutoVantage Road Rage Survey, released today, was conducted to determine the driving habits and attitudes of commuters across the U.S. and to learn more about consumer views on the topic of road rage.

"Road rage has unfortunately too often become a way of life, both on and off the track," said NASCAR racing TV personality, radio host, best-selling author and AutoVantage spokesperson Liz Allison. "More and more, in cities across America, people are acting out their frustrations with dangerous results. It's bad for professional and everyday drivers alike.

"Our Road Rage survey shines the light on emerging driving trends, and there are some very interesting results."

The survey's best and worst cities are:

Least Courteous Cities (Worst Road Rage):
2007 2006
1. Miami 1. Miami
2. New York 2. Phoenix
3. Boston 3. New York
4. Los Angeles 4. Los Angeles
5. Washington, D.C 5. Boston

Most Courteous Cities (Least Road Rage):
2007 2006
1. Portland, Ore. 1. Minneapolis
2. Pittsburgh 2. Nashville
3. Seattle/Tacoma 3. St. Louis
4. St. Louis 4. Seattle
5. Dallas/Ft. Worth 5. Atlanta

Other cities surveyed include Phoenix; Chicago; Sacramento, Calif.; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Houston; Atlanta; Detroit; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Baltimore; Tampa, Fla.; San Diego; Cincinnati; Cleveland and Denver.

"This new study focuses on important attitudes and habits of drivers on the open road nationwide," said Mike Wain, vice president of AutoVantage. "This groundbreaking research is an important tool to help educate and influence safer driving habits throughout the United States."

Want to know how you rate? Check your road rage temperature by taking our online survey at www.gaugemyrage.com.

This year's survey sought to define road rage in America. Two important attributes emerged in defining road rage behavior:

  • Angry or upset drivers, including out-of-control drivers and drivers who lose their temper.
  • Bad or aggressive driving, including bad/careless/crazy and/or rude driving, cutting into lanes, cutting people off, tailgating, speeding and/or honking.

When asked the major causes of road rage in the survey, the most frequent theme was people being in a hurry, running late, being impatient and/or speeding.

  • "Bad/rude/careless driving, such as cutting others off, talking on the cell phone, speeding or going too slow in the fast lane"
  • "People who are angry, stressed or frustrated"
  • "People being in a hurry, impatient or running late"

Behaviors by other drivers that cause stress for commuters, and which can lead to road rage, include:

  • Driving too fast (66 percent observe this happening every day)
  • Tailgating (57 percent see this every day)
  • Cutting over without notice (45 percent see this every day)

Commuters also reported that other drivers frequently:

  • Talk on their cell phones (98 percent observe this at least once a week)
  • Do other tasks while driving (63 percent observe this at least once a week)
  • Run red lights (63 percent observe this at least once a week)
  • Slam on the brakes (63 percent see this happening at least once a week)

As a reaction to rude or bad driving by others, people surveyed admitted that they:

  • Honk their horn at the offending driver (35 percent)
  • Curse at the other driver (29 percent)
  • Wave their fist or arms (10 percent)
  • Make an obscene gesture (8 percent)
  • Call the police to report the driver (6 percent)
  • Slam into the car in front of them (1 percent)

Drivers weighed in on how to reduce rude driving and road rage:

  • Increase police presence (62 percent thought this would help)
  • Limit cell phone usage (55 percent)
  • Make it illegal to use cell phones while driving (53 percent)
  • Use automatic cameras to catch bad drivers (51 percent)
  • Conduct a major public awareness campaign (32 percent)

Other key findings of the study:

  • Younger drivers and those who have the longest commutes are most likely to react to an aggressive or rude driver.
  • There is no real difference between men and women when it comes to road rage.
  • Besides talking on the cell phone while driving (61 percent admit to this), the one thing that drivers in this survey were most likely to have done is drive too fast (59 percent). Most drivers admit to doing these at least some of the time.
  • Cutting over without notice. Drivers in New York are the most likely to witness this daily (63 percent), up from 45 percent in 2006. Drivers in Cleveland are least likely to see this (25 percent), down from 45 percent in 2006.
  • Tailgating. Drivers in Phoenix are most likely to see this behavior daily (69 percent), up from 51 percent in 2006. Drivers in Portland are the least like to see tailgating (41 percent).
  • Slamming on the brakes. Drivers in Miami (39 percent) are most likely to witness this behavior daily, up from 23 percent, while drivers in Cleveland and Cincinnati are least likely (14 percent).
  • Running red lights. More than one-fourth (27 percent) said they see drivers every day who run red lights. Drivers in Miami are the most likely to witness this behavior (58 percent), up significantly from 40 percent, and drivers in Cleveland are least likely (14 percent), up slightly from 11 percent in 2006.
  • Driving too fast. Nearly two-thirds say they see drivers driving a lot faster than is safe for road conditions, up significantly from 57 percent last year. Drivers in Sacramento are more likely to see drivers driving too fast (81 percent) than those in Minneapolis/St. Paul (55 percent).
  • Talking on cell phone. Ninety percent say they see drivers talking on their cell phone every day, up from 83 percent in 2006. A full 96 percent of San Francisco drivers said they see this behavior daily, while drivers in Denver are less likely (82 percent).

Overall, more than one third, or 35 percent, said they see drivers doing other things like putting on makeup, shaving or reading while driving. Miami (54 percent) emerged as the city where this is most likely to be seen, while Seattle (19 percent) emerged as the place where this behavior is least likely to happen.

Liz Allison

Liz Allison, a spokesman for AutoVantage, is a NASCAR TV personality, radio host and best-selling author. She has served as a racing analyst for TNT, CNNSI.com, TNN, CNN, ESPN and ESPN2. Allison has appeared on NBC's "Today Show," CNN, Fox and Friends, ESPN and the Speed Channel. She is host of the No. 1 NASCAR radio show in Nashville, called "The Drivers Zone," on WGFX-FM. Allison is also host and track announcer for the Nashville Superspeedway. She is the best-selling author of "The Girl's Guide to NASCAR" – and is writing two sequels for Time Warner Books. Allison is also writing three NASCAR Harlequin Romance novels, the first slated for November publication. She has penned articles for USA Today, NASCAR Scene, NASCAR Illustrated and NASCAR.com.

Survey Methodology

Prince Market Research, an independent marketing research company, was commissioned to conduct a nationally representative telephone study with consumers in 25 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. to learn more about consumer views on road rage. All telephone calls were conducted between Jan. 16 and March 23, 2007, during which period, a total of 2,521 interviews, lasting an average of six to eight minutes, were completed. No incentive was offered and the sponsor of the research was not revealed. The margin of error is +/- 2 percent.

About AutoVantage

Members of AutoVantage (http://www.autovantage.com or 1-800-876-7787) can save from 5 to 20 percent on car care at some 19,000 service locations, including participating AAMCO, Jiffy Lube, Meineke and American Car Care Center locations. AutoVantage also offers 24-hour nationwide emergency towing, roadside assistance, and lockout protection from its network of more than 10,000 emergency roadside assistance providers. Trip routing for maps and door-to-door driving directions across the U.S. are also included. AutoVantage is offered by Affinion Group, a leader in the membership, insurance and loyalty marketing businesses, providing products and services that touch the lives of millions of Americans.

About Affinion Group

Affinion Group (www.affiniongroup.com) is a leading affinity direct marketer of value-added membership, insurance and package enhancement programs and services to consumers. With more than 30 years of experience, Affinion Group currently offers its programs and services worldwide through more than 5,200 affinity partners. Its diversified base of affinity partners includes leading companies in a wide variety of industries, including financial services, retail, travel, telecommunications, utilities and Internet. Affinion Group also has a growing loyalty solutions operation that administers points-based loyalty programs. Based in Norwalk, Conn., Affinion Group has approximately 3,000 employees throughout the United States and in 14 countries across Europe.

Contact Info

Todd Smith
615.764.2598 (O)
615.202.7944 (M)
Andrea Lindsley
615.780.3315 (O)
615.415.8886 (M)

Related Links

www.autovantage.com
www.gaugemyrage.com
www.affiniongroupmedia.com

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