Aggressive Driving and Road Rage


Aggressive driving and road rage are perceived to be serious threats to public safety and contribute to a substantial number of road traffic crashes. In a 2014 survey, AAA Foundation found more than 78% of drivers reported engaging in at least one aggressive driving behavior in the past year, underscoring the high prevalence of such risky behaviors. However, this work is nearly a decade old and updated evidence is needed. Changes in driving patterns, lifestyles and technology (both inside and outside the vehicle) in the past decade may have changed the types of behaviors that road users perceive as aggressive as well as contributing factors and consequences of said behaviorsThis project seeks to update previous AAA Foundation research on aggressive driving, further explore the causes and origins of aggressive driving behaviors and related attitudes and consider how the concepts of aggressive driving and road rage have evolved over time. 

Project Goal and Plan

The main objective of the proposed research is to better understand the etiology, contributing factors, and prevalence of aggressive driving and road rage behaviors. The project will first conduct an interdisciplinary literature review to capture the current state of knowledge on aggressive driving. Next, the project will conduct focus groups with drivers to identify what signifies aggressive driving at present-day and explore the social meaning and casual factors of these behaviors. Using results from the literature and focus groups, this study will update the questionnaire used in the AAA Foundation’s previous study of aggressive driving and road rage, and administer the updated questionnaire to a nationally representative sample. Finally, the project will analyze survey responses to estimate the prevalence and correlates of aggressive driving and road rage behaviors among the American public. 


Rebecca Steinbach

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety