Aggressive driving
Ways to help reduce 'road rage'

Most drivers know “road rage” when they see it. After experiencing some perceived slight, a driver tries intimidate, threaten, or harm a fellow motorist, often with dangerous behavior such as speeding or tailgating.

Road rage happens when aggressive driving mixes with anger, and the results can be deadly. In fact, aggressive driving contributes to more than half of fatal crashes, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. And it's not a minor problem: In a recent AAA study, almost 80 percent of drivers surveyed said they had engaged in angry behavior behind the wheel at least once in the past year. We look at what drivers can do to avoid aggressive driving from others, and avoid becoming aggressive themselves.

Road rage by the numbers

  • The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied aggressive driving as part of its annual Traffic Safety Culture Index. Researchers surveyed 2,705 licensed drivers aged 16 and older. Nearly 80% of those drivers admitted to at least one aggressive driving behavior in the past year.

  • 51% of drivers

    admitted to tailgating another driver

  • 47% of drivers

    admitted to yelling at another driver

  • 45% of drivers

    admitted to honking to show anger

  • 33% of drivers

    admitted to making offensive gestures

  • 24% of drivers

    admitted they tried to block another driver's lane change

  • 12% of drivers

    admitted to cutting off another driver on purpose

  • 4% of drivers

    admitted they left their vehicle to confront another driver

  • 3% of drivers

    admitted to hitting another vehicle on purpose

What you can do

Don't offend

  • Avoid moves that force other drivers to change their speed or direction.
  • When switching lanes, first check that you have space, then use your signal.
  • Move to the right if you’re driving more slowly than surrounding traffic.
  • Avoid tailgating, and slow down if you’re following too closely.

Don't engage

  • Steer clear of drivers who are speeding, tailgating, and otherwise behaving aggressively.
  • Avoid making eye contact with angry drivers; they may see it as a challenge.
  • Contact the police if a situation escalates and you feel unsafe.

Don't get angry

  • Don’t take another driver’s actions personally. They may be having a bad day, or may not realize they've inconvenienced you.
  • Let go of your pride. “Winning” isn't worth the risk to your safety and the safety of other drivers around you.
  • Seek professional help if you think you have a serious behavioral issue.