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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

May 12, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Road-rage survey: Seattle drivers are polite — but look out

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(Photo by Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

In big East Coast cities, the sound of blaring car horns is part of daily life.  But around here, it takes a lot to get a driver to honk — and new data confirm it.

According to the 2014 In The Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey, released Monday by AutoVantage, Seattle drivers are the second least-likely in the nation to say they honk their horn at other drivers. And Portland came in first. Clearly, this aversion to honking is a Northwest thing.

For the survey, commuters in 25 big U.S. cities were asked about a host of driving behaviors related to road rage. Overall, Seattle ranked 7th for courteous driving — but it was our politeness toward other drivers, rather than our actual driving behavior, that carried us into the top 10.

In addition to not honking, we are the third least-likely to flip the bird, and fourth least-likely to curse or shake a fist at another driver.

So we really are very nice.

But we also rank fourth-worst for cutting across lanes of traffic without any notice. And — no surprise here — we never let driving stop us from gabbing on our cellphones (we rank eighth worst for that). We also say we observe some bad behavior in others, such as tailgating and eating food while driving; we rank in the bottom 10 for both of those.

In this year’s rankings, Portland took the top spot as the most courteous city, ahead of Pittsburgh and St. Louis, in order.

And America’s worst road rage? Houston beat out Atlanta and Baltimore for that dubious distinction.

Comments | More in Reports | Topics: cars, driving, road rage

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