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Which City Wins “Most Aggressive Driver” Poll?

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Posted On: Jun 19, 2009 By: Category: MINI Cooper News

Here’s a hint: it’s not Miami. That city lost the title it held for four years running (and cursing and honking) to one that should come as no surprise…

Yes, you probably guessed it. It’s New York City! The Big Apple topped the annual Road Rage Poll conducted by marketing and consulting company Affinion Group, who commissioned the AutoVantage Road Rage Survey. 2,518 people took part nationwide.

Miami had previously held the title for the last four years but voters in 25 major metropolitan areas gave New Yorkers the prize (?) for being the angriest, most aggressive drivers who are most likely to tailgate, speed, honk, flip off and lose their tempers.

"New Yorkers were most likely to wave their fists or arms. They were most likely to lay on the horn and they were most likely to make some sort of obscene gesture," said Michael Bush, of the Affinion Group.

Other, er, winners? Dallas/Fort Worth came in second as the worst road rage city followed by Detroit, Atlanta and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Miami ranked a distant seventh this year. Wonder what they’re putting in their coffee?

And what about the nicest drivers?

Portland and Cleveland were voted to have the most courteous, considerate drivers, followed by Baltimore, Sacramento and Pittsburgh.

"The real surprise to me is that there is no geographic way to break down road rage," Bush told Reuters. "It is very much on a city-by-city basis, as opposed to geographic area."

Interestingly, the poll also looked into the causes for road rage, and found that – you probably guessed this too - talking on a cell phone was the behavior that irked motorists the most. In fact, 84 percent of them tagged it as the behavior most likely to incite road rage.

Other factors included driving too fast, tailgating, and eating and texting behind the wheel. The numbers get pretty scary, with nearly 50 percent reporting that drivers frequently cut across the road without notice, 25 percent saw drivers putting on make-up, shaving and reading (yikes!) while behind the wheel. For the record, Detroit and San Francisco had the most text-happy drivers, while Miami won the distinction as the city where people were most likely to shave, read or put on make-up while driving.

How do people react when they witness this bad behavior? With more bad behavior, of course. 43 percent reacted to bad driving by honking the horn, 36 percent resort to cursing, 13 percent wave their fists or arms and 10 percent make “an obscene gesture”.

"In Washington, D.C., four percent of drivers admitted to slamming into another driver," said Bush. "They stand out in that one particular category.

Oh… if everyone would just motor about in a MINI this kind of poll wouldn’t be necessary (see "MINI Is Twice As Friendly" article).

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