A study analyzing the driving behaviors and habits of several major metropolitan areas concluded that Miami, Fla., has the rudest drivers in the country, while Portland, Ore., has the nicest. The study, “In the Driver’s Seat: Road Rage Survey,” was commissioned for the second year in a row by AutoVantage, a national auto club.

Miami, which also topped the least-courteous list in 2006, was followed this year by New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., respectively. Phoenix, which ranked number two in rudeness in 2006, was left off the 2007 list.

The list of cities with the least amount of road-rage issues saw much more movement, however. Following Portland in driving politeness was Pittsburgh, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Louis, and Dallas/Ft. Worth, respectively. Only St. Louis and Seattle/Tacoma appeared on 2006′s list, too.

What was the survey’s definition of road rage? The authors concluded that there are two important attributes. The first was angry or upset drivers, including out-of-control drivers and drivers who lose their temper. Second, bad or aggressive driving, including bad/careless/crazy and/or rude driving, cutting into lanes, cutting people off, tailgating, speeding and/or honking.

The survey’s results also showed that driving too fast, tailgating, and cutting over without notice topped the list of behaviors that would most likely provoke a reaction from other drivers. Those polled believed that increasing police presence, limiting cell phone usage, implementing camera systems to catch offenders, and a public-awareness campaign could reduce instances of road rage.

The study also found regional tendencies amongst its results. For instance, cutting over without notice was most common in New York, while tailgating was a frequent behavior in Phoenix. In Miami, slamming on the brakes and running red lights were seen most often.

Prince Market Research, an independent marketing research company, was commissioned to conduct the study. Telephone calls were conducted between Jan. 16 and March 23, 2007, during which period, a total of 2,521 interviews were completed. The margin of error is +/- 2 percent.

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