tampabay.com

Miami again tops list for rude drivers

The mix of retirees and young professionals is blamed for road rage.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published May 15, 2007


MIAMI - For the second year in a row, rude drivers who chat on cell phones and speed through red lights have earned Miami the title as the U.S. city with the most road rage, a survey released Tuesday said.

Miami motorists said they saw other drivers slam on their brakes, run red lights, multitask while driving and talk on cell phones, according to the survey by AutoVantage, a Connecticut-based automobile membership club that offers travel services and roadside assistance.

"It can be a reminder that we ought to - all of us - be a little more cautious, patient, and do unto others, " Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday as he was being driven through Miami.

Portland, Ore., drivers were the least likely to see other motorists tailgating on the roadways and St. Louis motorists were the least likely to swear at another driver.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., was rated the most courteous city in 2006. This year, it fell to No. 14 in courtesy.

The most frequent cause of road rage cited in the survey was impatient motorists who were in a hurry. Drivers also said road rage can stem from poor driving in fast lanes and driving while stressed, frustrated or angry.

"The best piece of advice is to take a deep breath. Slow down, be aware and be careful, " AutoVantage spokesman Todd Smith said. "The No. 1 aim or goal of this survey is to increase driver safety in Miami and throughout America."

Among the problems for Miami drivers was a convergence of two cultures on the road - retirees out for leisurely drives and young professionals on their way to work, Smith said.

"That demographic combination makes for higher road rage and has contributed to Miami's No. 1 ranking, " Smith said.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Pat Santangelo encouraged drivers in South Florida to check highway reports before hitting the road.

"Patience is the key to traveling in South Florida, " Santangelo said. "There always seems to be some type of obstruction in the roadway or some kind of delay when you try to get from Point A to Point B. Utilize the resources that you do have to minimize stress while driving."

The survey had more than 2, 500 drivers in 25 major metropolitan areas rate road rage and rude driving offenses that they observed or committed. To participate in the telephone survey, drivers had to be 21 or older and make a weekday, rush hour commute that was at least 10 minutes long.

The survey was conducted between January and March by Prince Market Research and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

The 2006 surveys were conducted in 20 metropolitan areas. This year, Nashville was taken out of the survey and five other cities were added. Drivers in Tampa, Pittsburgh, Portland, Cincinnati and Sacramento, Calif., were included for the 2007 survey and the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metropolitan areas were separated into two groups.

Fast Facts:

 

New York, Boston rank second, third

Residents in the following 25 cities were surveyed and are listed in order from those reporting the most incidents of road rage to the fewest:

1. Miami.

2. New York.

3. Boston.

4. Los Angeles.

5. Washington D.C.

6. Phoenix.

7. Chicago.

8. Sacramento, Calif.

9. Philadelphia.

10. San Francisco.

11. Houston.

12. Atlanta.

13. Detroit.

14. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

15. Baltimore.

16. Tampa.

17. San Diego.

18. Cincinnati.

19. Cleveland.

20. Denver.

21. Dallas/Fort Worth.

22. St. Louis.

23. Seattle/Tacoma.

24. Pittsburgh.

25. Portland, Ore.

Source: AutoVantage's In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey