May 15, 2007 / 5:18 PM / 12 years ago

Miami drivers named the rudest

NEW YORK (Reuters Life) - Miami drivers are the rudest in the United States followed by New Yorkers, according to a survey on road rage released on Tuesday.

A resident screams at protesters as he drives in Miami May 12, 2007. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

For the second year running, Miami drivers topped the chart in a national poll by Prince Market Research to determine the good and bad driving habits and attitudes of commuters in 25 major U.S. cities.

Drivers in Miami were cited as the most likely to run red lights, to slam on their brakes at the last minute, and to do other things like putting on makeup, shaving or reading while driving.

Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., came third, fourth and fifth in the list of rude drivers, while drivers in Portland, Oregon were considered the most courteous followed by Pittsburgh and Seattle/Tacoma, St Louis and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Dan Prince, president of Prince Market Research, said rude behavior, speeding, and using cell phones were cited as the main factors contributing to road rage, which is a problem that is increasing in frequency.

“Road rage continues to be a major problem on American highways,” Prince said in an interview.

“Our research suggests there are a lot of people who are angry, frustrated or stressed when they are driving to work, either because they are late when they are leaving home, or they are upset because there is so much traffic and bad driving on their way home from work — that results in road rage.”

Honking, tailgating and cutting into a lane without signaling were also mentioned as sources of road rage.

The report was based on a telephone survey of 2,521 people conducted between January 16 and March 23 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Most people questioned in the survey, that was commissioned by AutoVantage, a national automobile club, said they observed drivers talking on their cell phones at least once a week with San Francisco drivers seeing this behavior most often.

Nearly two-third see drivers going a lot faster than is safe, with Sacramento topping this list, while drivers in New York are most likely to witness other driver cutting over lanes without notice.

“The most frequent thing people do when they experience bad driving in other drivers is they honk their horn, followed closely by cursing,” said Prince.

“We actually found a few people, who admitted or told us, that as a response to bad driving by someone else, they slammed their car into the car in front of them.”

When people were asked what they thought would reduce rude driving and road rage 62 percent said increasing police presence might help while 55 percent suggested making it illegal to use a cell phone while driving.

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