May 13, 2008 / 6:23 PM / 12 years ago

Miami voted worst city for road rage: survey

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - For the third consecutive year Miami has been voted the worst American city for road rage, according to a new survey.

A man is seen clenching his fist while driving in this publicity photo handout. Reuters/Handout/Alan Clark/Autovantage

The sunny Florida metropolis topped the poll of 25 cities because its drivers were the least courteous and most likely to run red lights, speed, text and talk on cell phone while driving.

It was followed by Boston, New York, Baltimore and Washington D.C. for the top five positions in the poll by Prince Market Research.

Pittsburgh was voted the most courteous city with Portland, Oregon not far behind. Seattle, Minneapolis and Cleveland were also cited as having the least road rage.

“The primary factor that we see year after year is that the Miami area is a combustible mix of two cultures on the road, and that is retirees out on a long leisurely drive, and young professionals on their way to work,” said Todd Smith, of AutoVantage, a national auto club that commissioned the poll.

“We live in a fast-paced, gridlocked, multi-tasking world and that unfortunately has manifested dangerously on the roads, streets and highways across America,” he added in an interview.

More than 2,500 Americans were asked in the telephone survey to identify factors which can lead to road rage. Talking on cell phones and sending texts and e-mails were cited the most.

Some of the more outrageous things people reported doing while behind the wheel were putting on makeup or shaving. Almost 50 percent said they were bothered by people who eat and drink while driving.

Other major causes for road rage incidents include speeding, tailgating, running red lights and changing lanes without signaling.

“Exercise caution at all times, slow down, pay attention to roadways and try to avoid those modern technologies,” said Smith.

Forty-three percent of people said they usually react to rude or careless drivers by honking their horn, while 36 percent admitted they cursed at the other driver. Younger drivers were more likely to react to aggressive driving than older people.

Nearly 60 percent of people thought using a hands-free phone would reduce road rage, while 52 percent said making cell phones illegal while driving was the answer.

Reporting by Irene Kuan; Editing by Patricia Reaney

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