Survey reveals most drivers have road rage, nearly half carry a weapon

January 14, 2020

Tyson Fisher


More than three-quarters of American drivers admit to road rage or aggressive driving. As if that was not bad enough, nearly half of motorists carry a weapon in their vehicle.

According to The Zebra, an insurance comparison website, 82% of Americans admit to road rage or aggressive driving in the past year. Honking of the horn to show anger was the most common form of road rage, with 59% reporting having done so in the past year. Nearly half (45%) changed lanes without signaling. About 40% have yelled/cursed at another driver or pedestrian.

Although many acts can set a driver off, tailgating was the most common action that angers drivers (44%).

Coming in at a close second at 42% is distracted driving, followed by getting cut off (33%), someone driving too slow (30%) and someone not using a turn signal (28%).

Even though 87% of those surveyed have seen another driver distracted by a handheld device, only 41% have admitted to such behavior. Most surveyed believe distracted driving is the second-most dangerous driving behavior, just behind drinking and driving.

Some motorists have taken their road rage to the next level by confronting another driver. Some examples include:

  • Getting out of their vehicle to verbally confront another driver (7%).
  • Throwing objects (6%).
  • Getting in a physical altercation with another driver (6%).
  • Sideswiping another driver (5%).
  • Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose (5%).
  • Forcing another driver off the road (5%).

However, motorists may want to reconsider confronting another driver. According to The Zebra, 46% of drivers keep a weapon in their vehicle. Approximately 15% have pepper spray, the most common weapon inside vehicles. Other weapons of choice are a knife (10%), bat/club (9%), gun (7%) and a taser (5%).

The Zebra defines “aggressive driving” as “any deliberate, unsafe driving behavior — like changing lanes without a turn signal or tailgating.” Meanwhile, “road rage” is a more extreme version of aggressive driving and includes obscene gestures, ramming another driver’s car, or forcing them off the road.

While 8 in 10 drivers experience either aggressive driving or road rage, about 55% of those surveyed admitted to road rage specifically.

Rather than resort to road rage, 62% of drivers listen to music when frustrated on the road. Other common alternatives to road rage are:

  • Thinking about something else (23%).
  • Venting by yelling or cursing (22%).
  • Waiting until the feeling goes away on its own (18%).
  • Navigating to a quieter road (14%).
  • Listening to a podcast or radio talk show (13%).
  • Call a friend or family member (6%).

The Zebra’s road rage survey was conducted online. Nearly 1,000 drivers from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., participated, ages ranging from 17 to 85.

Most respondents (62%) experience medium traffic during their routine driving route, with 20% driving in heavy traffic. The most reported commute length is 30-59 minutes (36%), followed by 15-30 minutes (25%) and one hour or more (18%). Most frustration occurs either on a multi-lane highway (46%) or on city/suburban streets (37%).

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Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.