DC drivers have long debated whether bad road behavior seems more associated with license plates from Maryland or Virginia. Now we have some actual research, and it turns out Maryland is worse. Way worse.
In a recent Forbes Advisor survey of “confrontational driving,” Maryland ranked the seventh most aggressive state in the nation, while angelic Virginia came in way down at 44. (The nation’s most polite drivers are apparently cruising the roads of North Dakota, while Utahns appear to be fiends.)
The Forbes survey asked 5,000 drivers around the country whether they had encountered various rude and aggressive behaviors, from “honked at me in frustration” (fairly common) to “pointed a gun at me or shot me” (most common in Missouri). In between those extremes fall things like making rude gestures, ramming another car, following a driver in order to have a fight, and cutting another driver off on purpose.
Be careful out there: The survey found that in general 85% of respondents had experienced road rage in some form. The most common aggressive behaviors were honking, tailgating, and making rude gestures. But more serious incidents seem frighteningly common. Twenty-two percent of respondents reported having seen an accident caused by road rage.
And here’s some even worse news for Maryland: Asked what triggers their road rage, drivers are most likely to cite the behavior of other drivers—a vicious cycle. Maybe it’s best to take the train.