An exploratory study of the relationship between road rage and crash experience in a representative sample of US drivers

Accid Anal Prev. 2002 May;34(3):271-8. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(01)00021-5.


The phenomenon of road rage has been frequently discussed but infrequently examined. Using a representative sample of 1382 US adult drivers, who were interviewed in a 1998 telephone survey, exploratory analyses examined the relationship between self-reported measures of road rage, generally hazardous driving behaviors, and crash experience. Regarding specific road rage behaviors, most respondents reported having engaged in verbal expressions of annoyance; however only 2.45% reported ever having been involved in direct confrontation with another car or driver. After controlling for gender, age. driving frequency, annual miles driven and verbal expression, an angry/threatening driving subscale of road rage was significantly associated with hazardous driving behaviors that included frequency of driving over the legal blood alcohol limit, receipt of tickets in the past year. and habitually exceeding the speed limit as well as crash experience. However, the verbal/frustration expression subscale was not associated with crash experience or hazardous driving indicators, except for number of tickets, after controlling for other crash-related factors such as gender and age. Direct confrontation by deliberately hitting another car or leaving the car to argue with and/or injure another driver was rarely reported. Results suggest that angry/threatening driving is related to crash involvement; however, after controlling for exposure and angry/threatening and hazardous driving the relationship of milder expressions of frustration while driving and crash involvement was not significant.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Aggression
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rage*
  • Regression Analysis
  • United States