I want you to pay extra attention driving to work this morning. If you can, avoid any foreign cars driven by middle aged men. If a new survey is to be believed, you are most likely to encounter a motorist with road rage during your Monday morning commute, and that driver is probably a man between the ages of 35-50 driving a blue BMW.
Over 2,800 British motorists were surveyed by VoucherCodesPro, a money-saving website, to determine the cause and effect of road rage. Behind BMWs, those surveyed said that drivers of Land Rovers, Audis and Subarus were most like to suffer from road rage.
The research also found that the male drivers admitted to having road rage an average of seven times a month, while female drivers averaged three episodes of road rage a month.
Even though the survey respondents were from across the pond, it appears we have similar issues in this country.
Metro-Atlanta drivers are certainly no strangers to road rage. I often say that one benefit of driving to and from work at off-peak hours is that I often avoid traffic and as a result I usually miss drivers filled with road rage.
That being said, I don’t often witness road rage. I’m a traffic expert, not a road rage expert. However, I did find some of the results very interesting.
Drivers singled out the Monday morning drive to work and the Friday afternoon drive home as the most stressful rush hours and these were the times where they were most likely to encounter drivers with road rage. Drivers the least likely to get angry behind the wheel? Women between the ages of 17-25. The day of the week with the least amount of road rage? Sundays.
What about road rage in Atlanta? In a 2009 survey conducted by AutoVantage, a leading national auto club, Atlanta ranked fourth worst in the nation in road rage incidents, behind only New York, Dallas and Detroit. We might be the city “too busy to hate” but that doesn’t necessarily translate when we are behind the wheel. It makes sense to me. The worse traffic gets, the more likely road rage starts to set in and its tough to find traffic worse than in Atlanta. We might be courtly southern ladies and gentleman in social settings, but when we hit the road, oftentimes civility goes right out the window.
If you are looking for a more relaxed commute with the less road rage, the cities with the most courteous drivers, according to the survey, are Portland, Ore.; Cleveland; Baltimore; Sacramento and Pittsburgh.
The best advice I can offer to stem the tide of road rage is this: getting mad isn’t going to help. When you are behind the wheel, behave as you would if your grandmother was riding in the car with you. You wouldn’t fire away with a string of four letter words or offensive hand gestures if you grandma was in the back seat.
If that fails, you can try the mantra made famous by the infamous Frank Costanza, a reccuring character on “Seinfeld” played by Jerry Stiller: “Serenity now. Serenity now.”