Analysis: Road rage peaks on Fridays in August

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(CNN) — We know it’s a couple of months away, but set yourself a calendar reminder:

Stay off the road at 6 p.m. on Fridays in August.

That’s when the number of road rage incidents in America goes through our sun-baked, stuck-in-traffic SUV roofs.

At least that’s the conclusion of the folks at the Auto Insurance Center, who scoured through some 65,000 Instagram posts hashtagged #RoadRage and crunched some numbers.

August was the worst, followed by July.

Now, granted, an analysis of Insta posts hardly a scientific study makes. (You’d want to take into account other factors). But still, it’s a pretty interesting snapshot.

For instance, it’s no surprise that when temperatures rise, tempers flare — especially when you’re trying to get home to get your drink on and you’re having to dodge all those vacationers and their campers cramping your commute.

As far as a specific city goes, Los Angeles rages the worst. No surprise there: People practically live in their cars in the city of (traffic) lights. New York is second, and coming in at No. 3: Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina. Talk about a misnomer!

But what really threw us for a loop is another finding in the study — the state where motorists are most aggravated: Hawaii.

Yes, Hawaii. The peaceful paradise, the vacation dream spot, the idyllic honeymoon destination.

The center logged 5,872 posts per 100,000 drivers in Hawaii. That’s even more than California.

What gives?

For one thing, Hawaii consistently ranks among the most traffic-congested states. And while Hawaiians are a pretty leid-back lot, but they do not like to be crossed.

“I don’t like people cutting in front of me,” resident Koel Maruame told our affiliate KHON. “To be honest, I’m one of them!”

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3 comments

  • michaeljmcfadden

    Heh, this article inspired a very interesting piece of research. Google offers a very objective and easy way of researching various social phenomena over the years by way of its N-Gram tool. Here’s what happens if you put road rage in as your search term:

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=road+rage&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=5&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Croad%20rage%3B%2Cc0

    (If that link is too long to translate here, just enter NGram Viewer into Google and then enter road rage into the page it produces.)

    The reason this is so interesting is the way it suddenly appeared and took off exponentially in 1992 and beyond. Now, what happened in most American workplace, all over the country, between 1992 and 1998. What one factor was common nationwide in that period that might have resulted in drivers being generally angrier and more annoyed at the world and its injustices as they drove home from work every day? Give up? Well, try the 1992 EPA Report that successfully urged workplaces all over the country to throw their smokers out into the streets whenever they wanted to smoke.

    Of course you *could* try to argue that this is just a pure coincidence. After all, Antismokers commonly argue that such things as British pub closings suddenly going from 8 per week in their pre-ban years to 27, then 39, then 52 per week in the first post-ban years was just a coincidence. They also argued that the 22% instant loss in Illinois Casino revenue in the first year of their smoking ban (while the three adjacent states all increased their winnings by 1 to 5%) was just a coincidence. Heck they even argued that when Atlantic City’s 30 straight years of win after win after win without failure in its Casinos was suddenly followed by loss after loss after loss in the years after the state implemented just a partial smoking ban was simply a coincidence. I looked a lot at a lot of such “coincidence” claims in both my books on smoking and smoking bans: they didn’t seem all that coincidental.

    The road rage thing is something new though. It had never occurred to me to research that. Thank you Fox!

    – MJM

  • michaeljmcfadden

    (EDIT: Without Link!)

    Heh, this article inspired a very interesting piece of research. Google offers a very objective and easy way of researching various social phenomena over the years by way of its N-Gram tool. Google

    Ngram Viewer

    and then enter “road rage” (without the quotes) in the search bar.

    The reason this is so interesting is the way the term suddenly appeared and took off exponentially in 1992 and beyond. Now, what happened in most American workplace, all over the country, between 1992 and 1998. What one factor was common nationwide in that period that might have resulted in drivers being generally angrier and more annoyed at the world and its injustices as they drove home from work every day? Give up? Well, try the 1992 EPA Report that successfully urged workplaces all over the country to throw their smokers out into the streets whenever they wanted to smoke.

    Of course you *could* try to argue that this is just a pure coincidence. After all, Antismokers commonly argue that such things as British pub closings suddenly going from 8 per week in their pre-ban years to 27, then 39, then 52 per week in the first post-ban years was just a coincidence. They also argued that the 22% instant loss in Illinois Casino revenue in the first year of their smoking ban (while the three adjacent states all increased their winnings by 1 to 5%) was just a coincidence. Heck they even argued that when Atlantic City’s 30 straight years of win after win after win without failure in its Casinos was suddenly followed by loss after loss after loss in the years after the state implemented just a partial smoking ban was simply a coincidence. I looked a lot at a lot of such “coincidence” claims in both my books on smoking and smoking bans: they didn’t seem all that coincidental.

    The road rage thing is something new though. It had never occurred to me to research that. Thank you Fox!

    – MJM

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