« Some ‘progress’ | Main | Everybody's problem »

December 26, 2005

Curb road rage

The article “I-70 traffic dispute ends in gunfire” (12/15, Metro) highlighted the tragic aspects of aggressive driving and road rage. As the sponsor of the Response Insurance National Driving Habits Survey, a scientifically valid survey of drivers from around the United States that covered this topic, we would like to weigh in on the issue.

Our survey revealed that 37 percent of American drivers experienced road rage, and that an equal number had committed an act within the prior six months. Men were more likely to engage in road rage than women (44 percent vs. 30 percent), and the highest incidence is among youthful drivers. In the 18-to-34-year-old group, 50 percent had committed road rage.

Even minor acts of verbal aggression can escalate into something more serious. Drivers need to take a deep breath and calm down before things get out of control. These survey results should be a wake-up call to drivers everywhere.

Mory Katz
Chairman and chief executive
Response Insurance Group
Meriden, Conn.

Comments

jack

I think alot of the things Mr Stone is clasifying as "road rage" is just bad driving.

Engineer

Geoffrey Stone
Where in the world did you get the odd ideas expressed in your last paragraph? Do you have some links to offer? Several on this blog would be glad to certify me as a "Bushite". I can assure you that I am opposed to road rage As a matter of fact i have found that it is advisable to avoid all forms of rage. (Except at football officals, of course) Bushites, police, judical and legislative personnel, what a sinister crew. Actually I drive on I435 quite frequently and have not seen any examples of road rage there. I'm willing to agree that it does happen, but my opinion is that it is being overstated.

jack

AS I pointed out on another thread, we currently have a higher percentage of our population in prison than virtually any country on earth. If building bigger jails was going to solve the problems we have, we would by now be building smaller jails. Locking everyone up that you or I feel is offensive in some way just doesn't work.

I believe it is a societal/cultural problem. Why are we, the citizens of the United States, the most violent on earth? It isn't a lack of prisons. It isn't a lack of weapons, we are exceedingly well armed. It isn't too many weapons, Switzerland REQUIRES all males from 18 to 35 to have military weapons and ammunition in their homes as part of their national defense strategy. It isn't video games, the Japanese are developping them and they aren't killing each other at the rate we are. It isn't our tv shows or movies, they play all over the world and don't seem to cause violence else where.

So what is it? I think it is a lot of simple things. Not knowing our neighbors. Engaging in and accepting rude behavior in public in general (when was the last time you heard "thank you" at a McDonalds drive thru?), or walked thru the groccery store talking on your cell phone or just tuning everyone else out with an ipod. Not allowing our children free play time in the park so they can learn to work out problems on their own. It is sitting in our living rooms, or on our back decks (behind the privacy fence, of course), or yes, sitting behind a computer screen and judging all the other people we neither met or care to meet. It is far easier to be cruel to people you don't know. I'm sure that isn't the complete solution, but I do believe it is the start.

Geoffrey Stone

Apparently, I am the only one posting so far who's ever driven an interstate or other highway, major boulevard or other throughway. Road ragers *are* everywhere - just look in the left lane. Look in the access ramps. Look in your rearview mirror.

Try to change lanes and watch the guy behind speed up to cut you off. Watch the speeders at 10-20mph over the speed limit, all convoyed left. See the idiot in the Suv or truck sitting on your bumper.

Road rage is a major problem, and has been since the late 70s. It's only gotten worse, and homilies and pleadings aren't going to help. What's needed is a strong police presence on the roadways rather than in the briefing rooms and classrooms, and judges who enforce the tickets given with hefty fines, loss of license, and even jail time (tailgating should be treated always as a form of terrorism). And plenty of cameras where the cops can't be, with followup warrants, not bulk-mailed warnings.

But, we'll never see this line of needed law enforcement, because it *is* considered acceptable by the ruling Bushite majority to drive aggressively and hatefully, and because a good part of the police, judicial and legislative personnel who should be protecting us good drivers, are themselves likely road ragers.

jack

Mark Tain said he believed there are "lies, damned lies and statistics". I get so tired of all the statistics used to support whatever the activist (of conservative or liberal persuasion) wants.

I do think there is a simple solution to so much of the rageful behavior that is going on in our nation: A) Quit glorifying those that engage in it and; B) Start being curtious to each other. If we do those two things, maybe you would be far less likely to shoot me over having read my lips as you cut me off.

Jim Dent

"Just like the poll cited today, I highly suspect some interesting word-play in order to get a "shocking" number that will rouse the rabble."

Bingo! A poll is only as good as the questions asked....

brianford

Jim: My point exactly.

This reminds me of the results of another poll I read (cited by a college Journalist in UMKC's university news) which essentially stated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 85% of boys aged 14-18 believed it was okay to "rape" a woman if she refused to have sex after buying her dinner.

This was mentioned with no reference to the original poll. Nothing that contained the exact wording of the poll. No mention of what constituted rape in the questions asked.

I didn't believe then, and I do not believe now that anyone would have marked "yes" to that question, if the question were "Is it okay to Rape a woman is you buy her dinner and she does not consent to having sex."

Just like the poll cited today, I highly suspect some interesting word-play in order to get a "shocking" number that will rouse the rabble.

Jim Dent

"In the 18-to-34-year-old group, 50 percent had committed road rage."

Every "other" person? As someone who has done a lot of driving, I find that highly unlikely.....

brianford

The letter writer mentions a survey but doesn't really say what said survey considered to be Road Rage in the first place.

Flipping someone the bird for almost causing me to run off the road? Swearing at someone who pulls in front of me and then not getting up to highway speed even though there are no cars for miles behind me?

If that's the case, then I can see 37 percent as an accurate number. (And I'm a proud member of the Road Rage club.) However, if those instances factor into "road rage" then perhaps the writer's concern should be on "bad driving" rather than on justifiably angry motorists who are upset that they are put into danger by those bad drivers.

(Note that I do not condone any example of Rage that would include purposefully injuring or causing injury to another motorist. I just don't believe that 37 percent of all drivers would do so, except in their fantasies. Which is why I suspect that lesser acts of anger are being counted as "rage".)

"Men were more likely to engage in road rage than women (44 percent vs. 30 percent)"

Also, Men were more likely to be induced into a state of rage -by- women drivers. Hehe. ;)

 
About KansasCity.com | About the Real Cities Network | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | About Knight Ridder | Copyright