Miami's Vice – Rude Drivers

May 16, 2007 ( - Some of us are road warriors - and others road worriers - and some are just plain rude.

For the second year in a row, Miami drivers have earned the city the dubious “honor” of having the nation’s rudest drivers, according to AutoVantage, an automobile membership club offering travel services and roadside assistance.

New York and Boston wrapped up the “top” three, while Portland, Oregon was named most courteous city, followed closely by Pittsburgh, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Louis (the only city also to appear on the most courteous list in 2006) and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

The survey’s authors said that two important attributes emerged in defining road rage behavior; which could perhaps best be summarized as bad drivers and bad driving.

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.

  • Behaviors by other drivers that cause stress for commuters, and which can lead to road rage, include:
  • Driving too fast (66% observe this happening every day)
  • Tailgating (57% see this every day)
  • Cutting over without notice (45% see this every day)

Road Responses

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

  • Honk their horn at the offending driver (35%)
  • Curse at the other driver (29%)
  • Wave their fist or arms (10%)
  • Make an obscene gesture (8%)
  • Call the police to report the driver (6%)

One percent actually admitted to slamming into the car in front of them in retaliation.

Other key findings of the study:

  • Younger drivers and those who have the longest commutes are most likely to react to an aggressive or rude driver.
  • There is no real difference between men and women when it comes to road rage.
  • Besides talking on the cell phone while driving (61% admit to this), the one thing that drivers in this survey were most likely to have done is drive too fast (59%). Most drivers admit to doing these at least some of the time.

City Scrapes?

Apparently drivers in New York were the most likely to experience someone cutting over without notice (63% experienced this on a daily basis, up from 45% in last year's survey. Drivers in Cleveland are least likely to see this (25% - just about half the 45% in 2006). Tailgaters were most common in Phoenix (69% experienced this daily), while it was least common in Portland, Oregon (but still common at 41%). Slamming on the brakes was a common issue in Miami (39% on a daily basis), but Ohioans (Cleveland and Cincinnati, specifically) were least likely to have to deal with this (14%).

Miami drivers were most likely to run red lights (58% on a daily basis), while drivers in Cleveland were least likely (14%, though that was up from 11% in the previous survey).

Overall, more than one third, or 35% said they see drivers doing other things than driving while driving - like putting on makeup, shaving or reading while driving. Miami (54%) emerged as the city where this is most likely to be seen, while Seattle (19%) emerged as the place where this behavior is least likely to happen.

You can gauge your Road Rage potential at

Least Courteous Cities (Worst Road Rage):
1. Miami
1. Miami
2. New York
2. Phoenix
3. Boston
3. New York
4. Los Angeles
4. Los Angeles
5. Washington, D.C
5. Boston
Most Courteous Cities (Least Road Rage):
1. Portland, Ore
1. Minneapolis
2. Pittsburgh
2. Nashville
3. Seattle/Tacoma
3. St. Louis
4. St. Louis
4. Seattle
5. Dallas/Ft. Worth
5. Atlanta