Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Mar 10, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Road rage affects your ability to think clearly
  • Don’t respond to road rage drivers
  • Report road rage drivers to the police

Did you know that road rage affects how you drive? If you’re not careful, anger can put you in an unfavorable predicament on the roadway, and it can even lead to confrontations with other drivers.

But what should you do about other road rage drivers? Don’t worry — we’re here to help you avoid road rage.

Our article explains how road rage affects your driving ability and why car insurance companies increase rates for aggressive drivers.

How does road rage affect your driving skills and judgment?

Road rage causes reckless driving and impairs your judgment. When you’re angry, you’ll make decisions that go against safe driving habits and adversely alter your driving skills.

Most road rage incidents involve someone driving unsafely, risking damage to another vehicle, a driver, and passengers. Vulgar comments and hard braking are also considered road rage behaviors because they harass other drivers.

But let’s examine a complete list of actions that define aggressive driving and road rage.

Comparing Aggressive Driving to Road Rage
Aggressive Driving BehaviorsRoad Rage Behaviors
TailgatingMaking profane gestures
Speeding in trafficIntentionally hitting another vehicle
Cutting off driversUsing headlights or brakes to harass another driver
Driving through red lightsBullying cars off the street
Entering in and out of heavy traffic
Rapidly changing lanes
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Although these driving behaviors are in different categories, they all increase your risk of becoming involved in a car crash or worse. Also, if you’re contributing to road rage, you’ll miss warning signs on the road.

A diamond-shaped sign is a warning sign in most states.

Road rage is one of the most significant distractors while operating a motor vehicle. Ultimately, you can avoid becoming a contributor to road rage by ignoring enraged drivers and calling the police.

Does alcohol consumption affect road rage drivers?

Yes, it does. In fact, you’re more likely to contribute to road rage while under the influence of alcohol. Road rage affects a motorist by impairing their judgment and driving, and alcohol intensifies those emotions.

Drinking coffee after consuming alcohol doesn’t numb those signals in your brain, and it can make your state of mind even worse when you’re enraged.

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Five Reasons Why You Should Call the Police on a Road Rage Driver

Regardless of how you feel about the police, responding or retaliating against a road rage driver is never a good idea. Road rage incidents can escalate into violent or fatal exchanges. You should report a road rage driver to law enforcement as soon as possible.

Here are five reasons why you should call the police on a road rage driver:

  • The road rage driver is following you
  • A road rage driver flashes a weapon
  • You were hit, or almost hit, by a road rage driver
  • The road rage driver repeatedly slams on their brakes in front of you
  • A road rage driver throws something at your car

Don’t speed up to race a road rage driver on the roadway. Reduce your speed so that you can think clearly. Take a photo of the road rage driver’s vehicle and license plate, and then report the driver to the police.

Several states allow you to report reckless drivers. Therefore, we recommend that you don’t engage with an aggressive and angry driver.

Which gender is more prone to road rage?

Female drivers are less likely than males to contribute to road rage. This fact is one of the reasons why car insurance companies provide cheaper rates to women who are primary policyholders.

But what are the statistics for road rage by gender? Let’s review the table below to determine the aggressive driving percentages.

Road Rage/Aggressive Driving Percentage by Gender
Road Rage/Aggressive Driving ActPercent of Males that Contribute to Road RagePercent of Females that Contribute to Road Rage
Tailgating56%46%
Yelling50%44%
Honking49%40%
Showing an obscene gesture40%25%
Blocking drivers from changing lanes29%20%
Cutting off other drivers16%8%
Confronting other drivers6%2%
Bump or ramming another vehicle4%1%
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More than half of all road rage events involve men. Men are also more likely to become involved in physical exchanges with other drivers during road rage incidents.

Which age groups are involved in more road rage incidents?

Age is also a factor in road rage statistics. According to the car insurance industry, teen drivers are riskier motorists. But it’s not the same for road rage. Let’s review the percentage of road rage incidents by various age groups.

Road Rage/Aggressive Driving Acts by Age Group
Road Rage/Aggressive Driving ActAges 16 through 18Ages 19 through 24Ages 25 through 39Ages 40 through 59Age 60 through 74Age 75 and older
Tailgating49%46%67%51%39%36%
Yelling41%52%52%50%40%24%
Honking34%44%54%47%37%27%
Showing an obscene gesture26%40%43%33%23%15%
Blocking drivers from changing lanes12%28%28%26%19%18%
Cutting off other drivers9%15%17%12%7%5%
Confronting other drivers2%4%6%3%2%2%
Bump or ramming another vehicle3%4%4%3%1%3%
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The ages most likely to contribute to road rage are between 25 and 59. Senior drivers are less likely to engage in road rage incidents.

Does road rage affect car insurance rates?

Yes, it does. Road rage events often lead to traffic violations and car crashes. Both of these incident types raise your insurance rates by at least 3%. Let’s determine how various traffic violations affect auto insurance rates.

Car Insurance Rate Increase by Driving Violation
Traffic InfractionsInsurance Rate Increase by Dollar Amount Per MonthInsurance Rate Increase by Percent
Hit and run$10182%
DUI$9174%
Refusal of breathalyzer/chemical test$9174%
Racing$9074%
Reckless driving$8670%
Driving with a suspended license$7762%
At-fault accident$5142%
Driving with an open container$4335%
Operating a car without permission$4033%
Passing a school bus$3327%
Following too closely$2923%
Improper passing$2923%
Driving wrong way/wrong lane$2823%
Failure to stop at a red light$2823%
Failure to yield$2822%
Illegal turn$2823%
Speeding$2823%
Speeding in school zone$2621%
Driving too slowly$2521%
Distracted driving/cell phone violation$2420%
Driving with expired registration$1311%
Failure to show documents$119%
Not-at-fault accident$87%
Failure to use child safety restraint$54%
Failure to wear a seat belt$54%
Driving without lights$43%
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Hit-and-run and DUI offenses generate the most expensive rates, and these infractions sometimes involve road rage incidents. The increase in insurance rates is another incentive for avoiding road rage.

If your violations are too severe, the insurance company will cancel your policy. Your car insurance quotes at the next company will also produce costly rates.

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What is a road rage driving test?

Road rage driving tests are used to measure your driving habits to determine if you frequently participate in road rage. These unofficial tests are used to make you more aware of your driving behavior.

Although these tests have little effect on changing a driver’s mind, they collect information that can be analyzed later. But don’t worry — road rage driving tests won’t disclose your identity in future statistics.

How Road Rage Affects Your Driving Skills and Judgment: The Bottom Line

Road rage isn’t good for any driver. You can get charged with a misdemeanor for road rage. And if your road rage antics physically harm someone, you could be prosecuted for a felony.

De-escalate road rage conflicts by reducing your speed if you’re behind a reckless driver. Also, avoid any confrontation with an aggressive driver. Contact the police as a last resort when a road rage driver insists on being disruptive.