Road Rage Statistics (And What Is Road Rage?)

Road rage statistics in the United States are filled with surprising facts. In September 2019 alone, the following happened:

  • A Wisconsin woman was shot to death in a road rage incident after a minor crash.
  • An Atlanta man ran over a teen he thought was throwing golf balls at his car.
  • An Alabama woman tried to shoot another vehicle but shot her husband.
  • In Huston, an apparent road rage incident involved a couple and their two children who were injured when an oncoming driver fired a gun at their car.

Almost everyone has encountered “road rage” or aggressive driving in one way or another. Sometimes road rage is confused with aggressive driving.

What is Road Rage?

Road rage is a name – often used informally – to mean the deliberate operation of a vehicle violently or dangerously due to frustration or anger with other road users.

Road rage can also be called road violence. It involves angry or aggressive behavior and dangerous driving used by a driver towards other road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, or bystanders to intimidate or release frustration on them.

The behaviors that lead to road rage include:

  • Offensive and rude gestures.
  • Physical threats or attacks
  • Verbal insults.

Those involved in road rage often use strategies such as long horn-honks, tailgating, swerving, attempting to fight, and sometimes shootings.

The results of road rage can include:

  • Altercations.
  • Assaults.
  • Collisions.

These effects of road rage often result in serious physical injuries and sometimes death.

Road Rage Vs. Aggressive Driving

The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as “driving behavior that involves a combination of moving traffic offenses that endanger drivers or property.”

Simply put, aggressive driving means “committing unprovoked attacks on other drivers.”

Angry and rude driver portrait sitting in his car

In Arizona, Aggressive Driving is used to mean behaviors involving “a progression of unlawful driving actions” including (and according to the NHTSA):

  • Speeding – exceeding the posted limit.
  • Following improperly or tailgating.
  • Improper, excessive or erratic lane changing
  • Passing where prohibited.
  • Failure to signal intent
  • Using an emergency lane to pass
  • Suddenly changing speeds without changing lanes.
  • Operating the vehicle in a reckless, erratic, careless, or negligent manner.
  • Failure to give right of way.
  • Failure to observe safety zone traffic laws.
  • Failure to obey traffic control devices, traffic signs, or traffic officers,
  • Failure to observe warnings or instructions on vehicles displaying them.
  • Racing.
  • Making an improper turn

So what is the difference between aggressive driving and road rage?

There is a big difference.

Aggressive driving is a traffic offense. Road rage is considered a criminal offense.


Road rage is an “assault on a road user – driver, pedestrian, cyclists – with a motor vehicle or a dangerous weapon by the driver or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle, or an assault precipitated by a previous roadway.” This makes road rage a willful and or wanton disregard for the safety of other road users.

Road Rage Statistics

The five main road-rage-inducing behaviors in Arizona are:

  • Distracted driving.
  • Tailgating.
  • Getting cut off.
  • Erratic lane changing.
  • Making improper turns.

Road Rage In The U.S. An Overview

irritated male driving his car in traffic - road rage concept

Statistics of road rage in the U.S. are found from the NHTSA.

According to an NHTSA survey, the following are the perceptions of drivers on the “road rage” phenomenon in the U.S.

  • A majority (82%) of drivers admitted to having expressed road rage or aggressive driving at least once in their driving life.
  • Honking is the way the majority of drivers (59%) express their rage and anger.
  • Other drivers (45%) report changing lanes without signaling.
  • Other drivers (42%) report yelling or cursing as a way of expressing their rage.
  • A notable 38% of drivers use obscene or rude gestures against other drivers.
  • Some drivers are reported to use firearms to threaten or shoot others to express their rage.
  • Arizona has a higher number of drivers who use guns in road rage incidents.

The following statistics compiled by the NHTSA show that road rage and aggressive driving cause severe problems on the roads:

  • Aggressive driving causes 66% of traffic fatalities.
  • A firearm is used in 37% of aggressive driving incidents. In 2015, there were 247 reported road rage cases involving a gun or other firearm while in 2016 the number was 620 cases.
  • Over seven years (between 2013 and 2019), 218 firearm murders and 12,610 accident injuries were attributed to aggressive driving and road rage.
  • Since 2015 the estimated number of total deaths caused by road rage is estimated at slightly over 500.
  • Males under 30 years are most likely to exhibit road rage.
  • 2% of drivers admit to having tried to run an aggressor off the road.
  • Half of the drivers who receive road rage or aggressive behavior agree to respond with aggressive behavior.
  • The number of road rage incidents in Arizona are slightly higher than other states.

Road Rage Statistics – Arizona

Road rage and aggressive driving is a common concern in Arizona.

In Arizona, too many drivers are reported to be impatient, angry, or in a hurry. They are reported to have been a plague on Valley roadways.

Side profile angry hipster man driver. Negative human emotions face expression

State statistics show angry, impatient, aggressive, reckless drivers go way too fast and are the leading cause of road fatalities in Arizona.

Arizona drivers have been named as the most aggressive drivers in the U.S., with two of Arizona’s cities, Phoenix and Tucson leading.

The following are the statistics of road rage and aggressive driving in Arizona:

  • In 2018, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety documented over 256 incidents of road rage.
  • In 2019, Arizona recorded over 200 incidents of road rage.
  • Males under 30 years are more likely to exhibit tailgate and road rage.
  • More females have expressed receiving road rage than males.
  • Millennials have been identified to be more likely (50%) to be involved in road rage and aggressive driving accidents.
  • Most road fatalities involving road rage encompass combined rude gestures and aggressive driving.
  • Boomers (the old) are considered the safest on the roads with few road rage involved fatalities. Boomers contributed to 8% of the deadly road rage accidents.
  • Most of the deaths in Arizona, related to road rage, are considered deliberate murders.
  • In the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, one in every day’s deadly accidents in Arizona is related to road rage.

Road Rage And Car Insurance Statistics

Road rage is a criminal offense with legal ramifications.

When a road-rage incident shows up on your driving record, as a criminal offense, it is a serious red flag.

As a result, because of your increased risk levels, insurers may charge more for policy premiums.

Insurance statistics since 2012 have shown that insurance rates related to road rage and aggressive driving (speeding, racing, running red lights, etc.) keep rising.

upset angry woman driver road rage

Road ragers also find it challenging to get full payouts for car damages.


Many things that can trigger road rage. Common triggers include distracted driving, excessive traffic, or slow driving. But, many times, road rage is a resulting symptom of stress in other life aspects of a driver.

Road rage is a criminal offense punishable by law. It also affects a person’s insurance premium rates.

Can you stop road anger? Yes, by relaxing and lessening the feelings of road rage.

Some of the strategies you can use to stop the anger include listening to music, yelling so that you blow off the steam, or even thinking of something else.