Does road rage affect women more than men?

by Rachel Hartman,
Sep 25 2012

If you’re female and drive, you may be more likely than men to experience road rage.

Well, that’s what a survey sponsored by concluded. Of the survey’s respondents, 61 percent of women said they reported feeling road rage. By comparison, just 56 percent of men said they felt road rage. The survey, carried out by market research company Harris Interactive, questioned nearly 3,900 U.S. workers.

When it comes to the entire U.S. population, however, are women really more prone to road rage than men? “Not necessarily,” says Leon James, professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and founder of “It is more likely that men don’t admit it as much as women do.”

Honesty and perception are main factors of road rage, James says. “It is possible that women have a lower threshold for what they call road rage. Men can get angry and yell, but they may not consider this road rage.”

For both men and women, getting angry while behind the wheel can result in crashes, injuries and, in some cases, the loss of your auto insurance policy. “Road rage can affect the life of you and your family,” says Kirk Bernard, a lawyer at Bernard Law Group, a law firm that handles personal injury and wrongful death cases in Seattle. If you injure – or, worse, kill someone – the emotional and legal consequences of those actions can affect you for the rest of your life.

Road rage and auto insurance

Here are three ways road rage can affect your auto insurance.

1. It’s a crime.

Road rage often is grouped with the term “aggressive driving,” but the two actually are different.

Aggressive driving involves following another car too closely, driving at excessive speeds, weaving through traffic, and running stop lights and signs, among other things, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Road rage, on the other hand, goes one step further. It usually involves angry and violent behavior that result from aggressive driving, such as speeding while trying to run another car off the road. While aggressive driving is a traffic violation, road rage is a criminal offense, NHTSA says.

If you’ve been convicted of road rage, that criminal offense could make it difficult to take out an insurance policy. “If you’re applying for auto insurance and have road rage listed on your driving record, some companies won’t even offer you the insurance,” says Billy Van Jura, an insurance broker in New York.

For an insured driver, being convicted of road rage also could have serious consequences. An insurance company may choose to drop the driver’s policy or not renew it, Van Jura says.

Read the full article →