Prevalence of Self-Reported Aggressive Driving Behavior: United States, 2014

This report provides data on the prevalence of self-reported aggressive driving behaviors based on a survey of a representative sample of U.S. drivers.

July 2016

Suggested Citation

For media inquiries, contact:

Tamra Johnson
202-942-2079
TRJohnson@national.aaa.com

Authors

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to provide estimates of the prevalence of aggressive driving behaviors. The data analyzed were collected via a nationally-representative online survey of 2,705 licensed drivers aged 16 and older conducted in the United States in 2014.

Background

  • Nearly 2 in 3 U.S. drivers believe that aggressive driving is a bigger problem today than three years ago, while nine out of ten believe aggressive drivers are a serious threat to their personal safety (AAAFTS, 2015)

Objective

  • To provide estimates of the prevalence of aggressive driving behaviors

Methods

  • Survey conducted in the United States in 2014, a sample of 2,705 U.S. licensed drivers age 16 and older who reported having driven at least once in the past 30 days, weighted to reflect the U.S. population
  • Subset of questions from AAA Foundation’s Traffic Safety Culture Index

Key Findings

  • 78% of U.S. drivers reported having engaged in at least one aggressive driving behavior at least once in the past year
    • Most common behaviors:
      • Purposefully tailgating another vehicle (50.8%)
      • Yelling at another driver (46.6%)
      • Honking their horn “to show annoyance or anger” (44.5%)
    • One-third of all respondents said that they had made an angry gesture at another driver
    • One in four drivers reported that they had purposely tried to block another driver from changing lanes
    • 11.9% of drivers said they had cut off another vehicle on purpose
    • A small proportion of drivers admitted to engaging in behaviors beyond the scope of general aggressive driving and which may be considered road rage:
      • 3.7% reported that they had exited their vehicle to confront another driver
      • 2.8% reported that they had bumped or rammed another vehicle on purpose
  • Male drivers were more likely than female drivers to report each of the aggressive driving behaviors examined
  • Drivers may underreport engaging in aggressive driving behaviors due to their negative social connotation, and thus the true prevalence may be higher than the estimates reported

Suggested Citation

For media inquiries, contact:

Tamra Johnson
202-942-2079
TRJohnson@national.aaa.com

Authors

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety