On the night I came to Asheville to interview for the talk radio gig I now have, I was cut off by an older-model white sports car. The driver didn't use a signal and nearly ran me off an exit ramp and into the French Broad River.
Since then, I've thought that drivers in Asheville are more aggressive than normal.
As it turns out... I might be right. Sort of.
Having driven in the Charlotte area for two decades, perhaps my concept of "normal" is anything but.
The latest "In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey" from Auto Vantage finds Charlotte is one of the most polite cities in which to motor around.
Among the other findings, aggressive driving is down:
When compared to 2009, survey respondents observed safer driving habits from their fellow commuters. Respondents were less likely to report observing a multitude of aggressive behaviors:
- Observations of speeding have declined 12% since 2009
- Observations of running red lights have declined 5% since 2009
- Observations of tailgating have declined 6% since 2009
- Observations of cutting over without notice have declined 6% from 2009
- Observations of slamming on the brakes have declined 2% since 2009
However, people who took the survey said they would lose their cool more often. So, it seems like we're not using the vehicles as weapons as much, instead opting for the satisfaction of screaming obscenities from the comfort and safety of our automobiles.
- Driver admissions of honking their horn increased 12% over 2009
- Driver admissions of cursing at another driver increased 8% over 2009
- Driver admissions of making an obscene gesture at another driver increased 3% over 2009
- Driver admissions of waving their arm or fist at another driver increased 4% over 2009
I wonder if these findings translate to aggressive buggy operation at the grocery store....