AutoVantage Survey on Road Rage Highlights Best, Worst American Cities

Stamford, CT - May 12, 2014 - AutoVantage, the complete car and roadside assistance service, today released the results of its 2014 In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey, naming both the least and most courteous cities in the US.

Houston was crowned as having the least courteous drivers in the U.S. In comparison to 2009 version of the survey, Houston has "moved up" in the ratings from eighth least courteous overall. Atlanta and Baltimore placed second and third respectively in this dubious category.

For the second time in five years, Portland has been identified as the city with the most courteous drivers. Pittsburgh retained its spot in the top five, moving from fifth place to second, and St. Louis placed third overall for courteous drivers in 2014.

The 2014 In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey measured behavior, observation and attitudes related to "road rage" as reported in America's biggest cities, and provides an update to previous research completed in 2009.

"AutoVantage aims to provide peace-of-mind for our members, with world class technology that ensures rapid assistance in our customers' time of need," said Rob DiPietro, GVP of Product Services for AutoVantage. "The survey prepares our members for the things that they may encounter when driving in a new city."

The survey's best and worst cities were:

Least Courteous
HoustonNew York City
Washington DCAtlanta
Most Courteous
St. LouisBaltimore
San FranciscoSacramento

Other cities surveyed in 2014 include Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay. Observations for each city can be found at

Cities that showed the most dramatic shifts in attitude as compared to 2009 include:

Became More CourteousBecame Less Courteous
Minneapolis (Improved 15 spots)Baltimore (Declined 20 spots)
Dallas (Improved 11 spots)Washington, DC (Declined 16 spots)
Detroit (Improved 9 spots)Boston (Declined 12 spots)
New York City (Improved 9 spots)Houston (Declined 7 spots)

Aggressive driving down while drivers pay more attention

When compared to 2009, survey respondents observed safer driving habits from their fellow commuters. Respondents were less likely to report observing a multitude of aggressive behaviors:

  • Observations of speeding have declined 12% since 2009
  • Observations of running red lights have declined 5% since 2009
  • Observations of tailgating have declined 6% since 2009
  • Observations of cutting over without notice have declined 6% from 2009
  • Observations of slamming on the brakes have declined 2% since 2009

Furthermore, fellow drivers seem to have given up many distractions. Respondents reported a decrease in a wide range of behaviors that take one's eyes off the road, with one notable exception:

  • Observations of other drivers talking on their cell phone have declined 15% since 2009
  • Observations of eating and drinking have declined 12% since 2009
  • Observations of other types of multitasking have declined 4% since 2009
  • Observations of texting while driving have increased 9% since 2009

Safer driving has led to more demonstrative reactions

Despite those around them giving up distractions and driving less aggressively, respondents were more likely to lose their cool in reaction to other drivers.

  • Driver admissions of honking their horn increased 12% over 2009
  • Driver admissions of cursing at another driver increased 8% over 2009
  • Driver admissions of making an obscene gesture at another driver increased 3% over 2009
  • Driver admissions of waving their arm or fist at another driver increased 4% over 2009

Survey methodology

Prince Market Research, an independent research company, was commissioned to conduct a nationally representative study with consumers in 25 major metropolitan areas in the US to learn more about consumer views on road rage. Overall rankings were calculated by the same methodology used in 2009, in which the sum of rankings for each of the questions asked was used to calculate a Net Discourtesy Score. Surveys were conducted between March 27, 2014 and April 4, 2014, during which time 2,500 consumers age 21 and above, and who personally drove during rush hour (Monday through Friday) no fewer than 3 days per week, were surveyed. Average participation time was approximately 6 minutes, and participants were neither compensated for their participation nor told who the research sponsor was.

Changes from 2009 Survey

Cincinnati, Cleveland and Sacramento, which appeared in the 2009 iteration of the In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey, were omitted and replaced by Charlotte, Orlando and San Antonio to ensure that the top 25 markets as defined by MSA were represented. Additionally, as opposed to 2009, half of respondents to the 2014 In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey were tabulated via online survey, whereas the 2009 iteration of the report was only based on phone interviews.

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About AutoVantage

AutoVantage, the complete car and roadside assistance service, uses state-of-the-art LocateMe® technology to ensure the fastest possible response at a member's moment of need. Built on an army of more than 15,000 local providers, AutoVantage offers peace of mind for members and their entire families with 24/7 road and tow services. For more information, visit

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