The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

AutoVantage Road Rage Survey Reveals Best, Worst Cities

NORWALK, Conn., June 16 -- For the first time in four years, a new city claims the title as the worst in the U.S. for road rage.

New York has unseated Miami as the least courteous city, according to the fourth annual In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey, commissioned by AutoVantage, a leading national auto club. The Big Apple moved up from its No. 3 ranking last year to claim the distinction. Rounding out the five worst cities for road rage are Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Atlanta and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The survey also named a new city as the most courteous. Portland, Ore., took the top spot, moving up from No. 2 last year. It was followed by Cleveland, Baltimore, Sacramento and Pittsburgh.

The In the Driver's Seat 2009 AutoVantage Road Rage Survey, released today, was conducted to determine the driving habits and attitudes of commuters across the country and to learn more about consumer views on the topic of road rage.

"At AutoVantage, we've made the drive easier every day by completing more than 1 million service calls for our customers, offering everything from 24-hour roadside assistance to towing to lockout service and more. This survey is another way we assist drivers by revealing the latest driving trends and attitudes to educate and influence safer--and perhaps more courteous--driving habits," said Brad Eggleston, vice president of AutoVantage.

  The survey's best and worst cities are:
  Least Courteous Cities (Worst Road Rage):
         2009                                      2008
  1.  New York                               1.  Miami
  2.  Dallas/Fort Worth                      2.  Boston
  3.  Detroit                                3.  New York
  4.  Atlanta                                4.  Baltimore
  5.  Minneapolis/St. Paul                   5.  Washington, D.C.

  Most Courteous Cities (Least Road Rage):
        2009                                       2008
  1.  Portland, Ore.                         1.  Pittsburgh
  2.  Cleveland                              2.  Portland, Ore.
  3.  Baltimore                              3.  Seattle
  4.  Sacramento                             4.  Minneapolis/St. Paul
  5.  Pittsburgh                             5.  Cleveland

Other cities surveyed include Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.

To boost safety awareness, this year's survey sought to define road rage in America. Responses overwhelmingly pointed to two important attributes:

  --  Angry drivers, including drivers who overreact and lose their tempers

  --  Aggressive driving, including cutting into lanes, tailgating, speeding
      and honking

When asked the major causes of road rage, the most frequent responses were:

  --  Bad/careless driving, such as cutting others off, speeding,
      tailgating, talking on cell phones, making obscene gestures and not
      using proper signals
  --  People who are angry, stressed, frustrated, tired or had a bad day
  --  People being in a hurry, impatient or running late
  --  Traffic problems, accidents, poor road conditions or construction

  --  Inconsiderate, disrespectful, selfish drivers who think they own the

Behaviors by other drivers that cause stress for commuters and can lead to road rage include:

  --  Drivers who talk on their cell phones (84 percent see this every day)
  --  Driving too fast (58 percent)
  --  Tailgating (53 percent)
  --  Drivers eating or drinking while driving (48 percent)

  --  Texting or e-mailing while driving (37 percent)

  Commuters also reported other drivers frequently:
  --  Cutting over without notice (43 percent see this every day)
  --  Doing other things - putting on makeup, shaving or reading behind the
      wheel (27 percent)
  --  Slamming on the brakes (25 percent)

  --  Running red lights (22 percent)

As a reaction to rude or bad driving by others, people surveyed admitted that they:

  --  Honk their horn at the offending driver (43 percent admit doing this
      every month)
  --  Curse at the other driver (36 percent)
  --  Wave their fist or arms (13 percent)
  --  Make an obscene gesture (10 percent)
  --  Call the police to report the driver (7 percent)

  --  Slam into the car in front of them (1 percent)

  Other key findings of the study:
  --  Younger drivers and those who have the longest commutes say they are
      most likely to talk on their cell phones and drive too fast on a daily
  --  Talking on cell phone.  Eighty-four percent see this every day. St.
      Louis drivers led this category (92 percent), and Portland motorists
      see it the least (76 percent).
  --  Driving too fast.  Across the country, 58 percent see this aggressive
      behavior daily.  San Diego and Houston drivers were most likely to
      observe speeding motorists (64 percent), while Cleveland, Denver and
      Portland drivers were least likely to see this every day (51 percent).
  --  Tailgating.  Fifty-three percent of motorists see this every day.
      Minneapolis drivers (65 percent) see this most often, and Pittsburgh
      drivers (43 percent) see this the least.
  --  Eating and/or drinking.  This common road rage trigger is observed by
      48 percent of drivers daily. Motorists in St. Louis (61 percent) see
      this most every day, while only 34 percent of drivers in Pittsburgh
      observe it.
  --  Cutting over without notice.  Nationally, 43 percent of drivers see
      this every day, and motorists in Miami (54 percent) were the most
      likely to observe this behavior.  Cleveland, Philadelphia and Portland
      drivers (29 percent) are least likely to see this daily.
  --  Texting and/or e-mailing.  These road rage inducers scored high with
      37 percent of commuters observing this behavior every day. Drivers in
      Detroit and San Francisco see the most text-happy drivers (47
      percent), while Baltimore and Sacramento see the least (28 percent).
  --  Slamming on the brakes.  Some 25 percent of drivers witness this
      daily, and those in Atlanta and San Diego (31 percent) are most likely
      to see this behavior every day. That's compared to only 19 percent in
  --  Running red lights.  Twenty-two percent said they see drivers every
      day who run red lights. Drivers in Minneapolis are the most likely to
      witness this behavior daily (34 percent), while Portland motorists (11
      percent) were least likely to see this offense.

  --  Multi-tasking.  Overall, 27 percent said they see other drivers
      multi-tasking, like putting on makeup, shaving or reading, while
      driving. Miami (38 percent) emerged as the city where this is most
      likely to be seen, while Phoenix and Sacramento (19 percent) drivers
      were least likely to see it.

  Survey Methodology

Prince Market Research, an independent marketing research company, was commissioned to conduct a nationally representative telephone study with consumers in 25 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. to learn more about consumer views on road rage. All telephone calls were conducted between Jan. 8 and March 24, 2009, during which period, a total of 2,518 interviews, lasting an average of six to eight minutes each, were completed. No incentive was offered and the sponsor of the research was not revealed. The margin of error is +/- 2 percent.

About AutoVantage

Members of AutoVantage ( or 1-800-876-7787) can save from 5 to 20 percent on car care at some 19,000 service locations, including participating AAMCO, Jiffy Lube, Meineke and American Car Care Center locations. AutoVantage also offers 24-hour nationwide emergency towing, roadside assistance, and lockout protection from its network of more than 10,000 emergency roadside assistance providers. Trip routing for maps and door-to-door driving directions across the U.S. are also included. AutoVantage is offered by Affinion Group, a leader in the membership, insurance and loyalty marketing businesses, providing products and services that touch the lives of millions of Americans.

About Affinion Group

As a global leader with more than 35 years of experience, Affinion Group ( enhances the value of its partners' customer relationships by developing and marketing loyalty solutions. Leveraging its expertise in customer engagement, product development and targeted marketing, Affinion provides programs in subscription-based lifestyle services, insurance and other areas to help generate increased customer loyalty and significant incremental revenue for more than 5,500 marketing partners worldwide, including many of the largest and most respected companies in financial services, retail, travel, and Internet commerce. Based in Norwalk, Conn., the company has approximately 3,550 employees throughout the United States and in 12 other countries, primarily in Europe, and markets in 15 countries globally. Affinion holds the prestigious ISO 27001 certification for the highest information security practices, is PCI compliant and Cybertrust certified. For more information, visit