LONDON – A speeding car in itself can be a deadly weapon, but a new survey finds that many Americans make sure they’re armed when they get behind the wheel.
A poll of 1,000 US residents commissioned by Circuit Route Planner found that a staggering 65 percent of drivers keep a weapon in their vehicle in case they need to defend themselves in a road rage incident. The driver’s most common weapon is a hidden knife (50%), followed by pepper spray (45%). However, 40 percent admit to carrying a gun with them on the road.
Other weapons that American drivers have in their hands include irons (39%), baseball bats (38%), hockey sticks (31%), tasers (31%), and lacrosse sticks (14%).
As for which cars you want to stay away from if things get hot on the road, polls have found that BMW, Hyundai, and Mercedes drivers are most likely to keep a dangerous weapon in their car. Incidentally, researchers report that road rage has reached a record high in 2021.
In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter where the Americans rule, that local residents believe that building anger in the streets is the worst thing where they live. While 39 percent of urban drivers believe that road rage is worse where they live than elsewhere in the country, 53 percent still feel that urban drivers are prone to road rage. More than half of rural (54%), small town (58%) and suburban (67%) think that road rage is no less bad where they live than cities.
Which way are you the most angry?
Whether it’s true or not, people think the worst when it comes to road rage. Half of the vote think people are more prone to road rage incidents, with younger drivers a close second (42%). Men who own sports cars (35%), women (31%), and older drivers (28%) also rated the drivers as too aggressive.
Interestingly, women seem to be critical of female drivers. In fact, female respondents were 71 percent more likely than men to accuse other women of succumbing to road rage.
So what do we mean when we talk about the “wrath of the road”? These actions include everything from speeding (which 40% of respondents admit), honking (28%), suddenly breaking or “braking” another driver (26%), making angry hand gestures (24%), and yelling (23%).
But things can quickly get out of hand, leading some drivers to chase or race other cars (20%), cut off vehicles on purpose (16%), tailgate (16%), and even point a weapon at a fellow soldier (4%).
It’s the road rage capital in… Oregon?
While the busy streets and bumper-to-bumper traffic of major states seemed to make the perfect place for road rage, a survey found that the “head” of America’s road rage is actually Eugene, Oregon!
Using data from Twitter, he found that for every 100,000 people, 500 # of traffic came from this Pacific Northwest town. That’s over 100 more than the next closest place — Atlanta, Georgia. Interestingly, the most famous crowded places like New York and Los Angeles didn’t even make the top 20 cities for road rage.
Since road rage can easily lead to accidents, injuries, and even murder, researchers say it’s critical that drivers learn to keep a cool head. Here are a few tips from AAA for handling potential road rage incidents while driving:
- This is a safe space
- When I just need to work
- Others do not change speed and direction
- Be kind (Imagine the person just pulled out in front of you lost his job today)
- Do not run into angry motorists
Circuit Trip Planner surveyed 1,000 Americans about their perceptions of road rage and their behavior. This data is combined with the Twitter hashtag #roadrage and analyzed by the location of each tweet. All data are per 100,000 inhabitants in the top 150 cities by population in the US
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