We’ve all encountered rude drivers. Some have behaved aggressively, cutting us off and flipping the bird as they zoomed ahead. Others have been more passive, like the kind of self-absorbed numbskulls who putter along in the passing lane, leisurely enjoying a cell phone chat.
A survey conducted asked approximately 2,000 licensed drivers across the U.S. for their opinions about the states with the rudest drivers. Pollsters then carried out a bit of simple math to calculate averages for each state. They also kept tabs on where complaints were coming from, so they could identify not only the home states of rude drivers, but also the states that hated those drivers the most.
Interestingly, Idaho — quiet, out-of-the-way Idaho — nabbed the survey’s top spot, thanks to its 50/50 mix of aggressive and clueless drivers. The state’s reputation was worsened by its mountainous, sometimes hazardous terrain, which causes many newcomers to slow down, holding up restless natives in the process. Of those surveyed, folks from Arizona seemed to hate Idaho drivers the most. Rounding out the top five “rudest” spots were Washington, D.C. (hated by drivers from Maryland), New York (loathed by Californians), Wyoming (despised by their neighbors from Montana), and Massachusetts (strongly disliked by their peers in New Hampshire).
At the bottom of the list, we find the nicest drivers — or rather, the least rude. And among Americans, no state’s drivers are nicer than those from North Dakota (though folks from Michigan have worse things to say about them than most). Also faring well on the survey: Maine (hated by Marylanders), New Hampshire (hated by Minnesotans), Montana (hated by D.C. residents), and Minnesota (hated by those from Wisconsin). Which only goes to show: you can’t please everyone.
Survey respondents were also asked about the one or more behaviors that they despised the most in a fellow motorist. Of the 18 possible options, these were the most frequently cited:
Talking on a cellphone while driving – 47%
Tailgating – 37%
Not signaling turns – 35%
Weaving in and out of lanes – 28%
Driving too fast, like every road is a highway – 26%
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