What do you think you’re doing? Why didn’t you use a turn signal? You’re getting the finger now, asshole. Hey, wait, what’s going on? Why are you getting out of your car? Ha ha, I was just kidding. Wait, is that your kid? Is he getting out? What’s he... is he banging his tiny fists on my car? I was joking, man!
Polite drivers may think that dialogue like that is the territory of deranged, out-of-control, or terrible drivers, and maybe they’re right. But according to a new survey from AAA, most drivers in the United States display signs of road rage. So too bad, you supposedly polite drivers.
The survey, published today, polled 2,705 drivers 16 years old and older about their road rage habits. Seventy-eight percent of drivers—more than three-quarters—reported engaging in some kind of aggressive driving maneuver, including tailgating, yelling, honking, gesturing angrily, purposely blocking another vehicle, cutting someone off, confronting someone, and intentionally ramming another car.
The breakdown of each category was fairly unsurprising. Fifty-one percent of drivers reported tailgating at least once; 47 percent reported yelling at least once; and 45 percent reported honking at least once. The more batshit responses—confronting another driver and ramming another vehicle—polled much lower on the list.
Even more unsurprisingly, men were more likely than women to engage in asshole behavior on the road, as were drivers aged 19 to 39. Hilariously, drivers in the Northeast were much more like to yell, honk, and gesture than drivers in other regions, which is perhaps the least shocking thing in the whole survey, because... well, have you ever driven in New Jersey? My God.
The tendency to veer toward aggressive driving—which can lead to serious and fatal consequences—is actually similar to the reason we often turn into assholes online: cars makes us feel anonymous. “That feeling of anonymity can sometimes mean that we behave in ways that we wouldn’t otherwise because we’re less likely to be held accountable,” social psychologist Erica Slotter previously told Gizmodo.
Also, most drivers in this country suck. Goddammit people, it’s not that hard to use your fucking turn signal.