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Road Rage Study May Help You Drive Safer

Road rage has become a way of life, both on and off the track. And more and more, in cities across America, people are acting out their frustrations on our roadways with dangerous results. It's bad for professional and everyday drivers alike. In a new study sponsored by the Affinion Group and its AutoVantage automobile membership club, drivers from 20 major metropolitan areas in the U. were surveyed to learn more about consumer views on road rage.

"This new study focuses on important attitudes and habits of drivers on the open road nationwide," said Brad Eggleston, vice president of AutoVantage. "This groundbreaking research is an important tool to help educate and influence safer driving habits throughout the United States." The study showed the cities with the worst road rage were Miami, Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles and Boston. Most courteous cities were Minneapolis, Nashville, St. Louis, Seattle and Atlanta.

When asked the major causes of road rage in the survey, the most frequent theme was people being in a hurry, running late, being impatient and/or speeding, with stress, frustration and bad moods also contributing. Behaviors by other drivers that cause stress for commuters, and that can lead to road rage, include driving too fast (57 percent observe this happening every day), tailgating (50 percent see this every day) and cutting over without notice (44 percent see this every day). Commuters reported that other drivers frequently talk on their cell phones (98 percent observe this at least once a week), run red lights (59 percent observe this at least once a week) and slam on the brakes (54 percent see this happening at least once a week). As a reaction to rude or bad driving by others, people surveyed reported that they honked their horn at the offending driver (40 percent), cursed at the other driver (32 percent), waved their fist or arms (9 percent), made an obscene gesture (8 percent) or called the police to report the driver (5 percent). Overall, 30 percent said they see drivers doing other things like putting on makeup, shaving or reading while driving. Los Angeles (43 percent) emerged as the city where this is most likely to be seen, while Seattle (18 percent) emerged as the place where this behavior is least likely. Bobby Hamilton, a spokesman for AutoVantage, was the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion after achieving four career NASCAR Winston Cup Series victories. He founded Bobby Hamilton Racing, which owns and operates three trucks in the NASCAR Circuit. The most courteous cities are Minneapolis, Nashville and St. Louis.

Least courteous: Miami, Phoenix and New York. Hamilton.


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