Study: 82% of drivers admit to road rage or aggressive driving in the past year

The Zebra's report reveals 46% of drivers carry a weapon in their vehicles for personal protection

AUSTIN, Texas -- December 10, 2019 -- The Zebra, the nation’s leading insurance comparison site, revealed today that 82% of Americans admit to road rage or aggressive driving in the past year. 

This report examines the prevalence of road rage and aggressive driving, triggers of this dangerous behavior and how drivers should respond on the roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, the number of road rage-related fatal crashes rose almost 500% over 10 years, from 80 to 467. 

What do drivers admit to on the roads?

The most common aggressive driving and road rage behavior is honking to show anger or frustration (59%), followed by changing lanes without signaling (45%) and yelling/cursing at another driver or pedestrian (42%). Additionally, 7% of drivers have left their vehicle to confront another driver.

What angers drivers the most?

Tailgating makes drivers angriest (44%), with distracted driving (42%) as a close second. Additionally, the stakes are high -- 46% of drivers have kept a weapon in their vehicle for personal protection, with pepper spray being the most common (15%).

Drivers view distracted driving as more dangerous than both drowsy driving and road rage/aggressive driving. 87% of drivers surveyed say they’ve seen another driver distracted by a phone/device -- however, only 41% of drivers admit to similar behavior themselves.

What can drivers do?

“Our findings show that almost everyone gets frustrated on the road,” says Nicole Beck, Director of Communications and licensed insurance agent at The Zebra. “When it escalates to road rage and aggressive driving, it’s dangerous and expensive. When faced with road rage or aggressive driving, it’s important to remember to remain calm and not engage. Insurance penalties for road rage include steep rate increases for drivers charged, and it’s important for drivers to realize that the financial cost doesn’t end at the original ticket.”

Reckless drivers can expect their insurance rates to increase 70% ($1,034) on average, nationally, and as much as 390% ($4,220) in some states. Those penalties are almost as much as those for a DUI, which raise insurance rates 74% ($1,086) on average nationally. Violations typically stay on your insurance record for three years.  

For comprehensive information about how this behavior can impact individual car insurance rates, see The Zebra’s 2019 Road Rage and Aggressive Driving Report or visit The Zebra at 

This study is based on a new survey of 987 drivers from all 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C. who drive on a monthly basis.

About The Zebra 

The Zebra is the nation's leading insurance search comparison site. With its dynamic, real-time quote comparison tool, drivers can identify insurance companies with the coverage, service level, and pricing to suit their unique needs. The Zebra compares more than 100 car insurance companies and provides licensed agent support and educational resources to ensure drivers are equipped to make the most informed decisions about their policies. It's "insurance in black and white."