“There’s something to be said for Minnesota nice”

I read a horrific story about road rage. A 35 year old man was so outraged about getting honked at that he followed the honker to her home, spun donuts in her parking lot, punched her in the face, and chased and ran over her boyfriend killing him. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

That’s just one ugly story. What was interesting is that the article ranked states for road rage, and number one at the top was Arizona.

A recent study from FINN put Arizona’s road rage score at 8 out of 10, the highest in the U.S. The state also came out on top for confrontational drivers.

“A huge 81% of drivers in Arizona have been yelled at, insulted or threatened when driving,” according to the report. “As well as this, a shocking 22.5% of drivers in the state have been forced off the road.”

Arizona ranked ahead of Montana, South Carolina, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama for road rage.

Where’s Pennsylvania? Once upon a time I had a daily commute on the Schuylkill Expressway, and that was mildly terrifying. I once saw a truck cut off a guy on the freeway entrance, and the guy pulled out a pistol and started peppering the truck. You do not want to be on the Schuylkill at rush hour.

But then…a nice surprise.

The best state to avoid road rage? Finn said Minnesota, where drivers encounter the least aggressive driving in the country. There’s something to be said for Minnesota nice, apparently.

As usual, the author doesn’t understand “Minnesota nice,” a phrase referring to the extremes of passive-aggressive behavior here. But sure, come to Minnesota, where we probably won’t force you off the road and murder your boyfriend. Probably.


  1. numerobis says

    If you passively-aggressively snark about driving someone off the road, you don’t drive them off the road. So it fits.

  2. stuffin says

    In Jersey we have something called the Jersey Swoop. It happens when a speeding driver in the left lane cuts across 3 lanes of traffic to get off the exit at the last second. Oh, and these drivers turn signals must be busted. I see this more often than I should, or some version of it. As road rage in Jersey, we have it, but I don’t know where we stand on the State Road Rage Scale.

  3. jonmelbourne says

    Given the number of guns the average US driver is probably carrying I’m amazed anyone is game to use their horn at all.

  4. says

    So, they’re just responsible citizens trying to get to the climate controlled parking garage while they still have a steering wheel. Makes total sense.

  5. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Here in Maryland, I don’t see as much road rage as I see road don’t-give-a-fuck. People just blasting through red lights, weaving in and out of traffic like there’s nobody else on the road, speeding, etc.

  6. Hemidactylus says

    Yay, Florida didn’t make the cut for states with highest road rage scores.

  7. HidariMak says

    “Arizona ranked ahead of Montana, South Carolina, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama for road rage.”
    I’m a lifelong Canadian resident who almost never travels, but aren’t all of those listed states largely Republican? Yet another example of the supposed respect for law and order, constantly proclaiming their own lower crime rates and their superior Christian values, as being nothing more than projection, hypocrisy, and dishonesty.

  8. Robbo says

    why am i suddenly reminded of this song by the Offspring, “Bad Habit”

    Hey, man, you know I’m really okay
    The gun in my hand will tell you the same
    But when I’m in my car, don’t give me no crap
    ’Cause the slightest thing and I just might snap

    When I go driving, I stay in my lane
    But getting cut off, it makes me insane
    I open the glove box, reach inside
    I’m gonna wreck this fucker’s ride

    I guess I got a bad habit (Yeah, yeah)
    Of blowin’ away (Yeah, yeah)
    I got a bad habit (Yeah, yeah)
    And it ain’t goin’ away (Yeah, yeah)
    Yeah (Yeah, yeah)
    Yeah, oh

    They say the road’s a dangerous place
    If you flip me off, I’ll get in your face
    If you drive on my ass, your foot’s on the gas
    And your next breath is your last

  9. says

    Here in Scarizona, I am convinced that highest road rage rating of the state as #1 is the exact inverse of the lowest state I.Q. rating of the rtwingnuts trying to run this half-baked state. However, the I.Q. rating of those running texass and floridumb can’t be far behind when it comes to stupidity. (clear example: DeathSantis just removed funding for flood control in the drowning state of floridumb!)

  10. Hemidactylus says

    eastexsteve @13

    So on one hand Florida isn’t the top 10 for road rage, but on the other hand when we go we go big.

  11. psanity says

    I don’t notice a lot of road rage as such in Montana. We have way too many young idiots in giant pickup trucks, and coal-rollers (although that seems out of style a bit now). The main general problem in Montana is that it is the bad driving capital of the nation. I lived in the Bay Area for many years, where drivers can be very erratic, but Montana drivers take the cake. People drive as though there were no traffic, and with no notion of how traffic works, so they block intersections, stop for no apparent reason, or blow past a car stopped at a crosswalk. They are incapable of taking turns at 4-way stops, or yielding to the right at uncontrolled intersections. They back up in traffic without looking behind them. It’s as if drivers here, even younger folks, think they are driving in the days when there were 100 cars in Montana, and they can still get away with this mostly, because traffic still isn’t at urban enough levels for natural selection to kick in, and there are rarely noticeable consequences.

    It could be that I just don’t see road rage here because I absolutely exude mom-ness, which is like a don’t-fuck-with-me superpower, apparently.

  12. tacitus says

    I live in Austin, TX, and was subject to a “mild” dose of road rage. I was overtaking a truck before reaching T-junction where I wanted to turn right. Plenty of room except the truck driver decided he didn’t want me overtaking so sped up.

    I accelerated with him and overtook anyway, but had to cut him off to do it before the turn. After that, he gunned his truck to swerve in front of me and slammed on the brakes to force me to slow down, and whenever I changed lanes to avoid him (I did nothing to incite him further), he kept repeating the maneuver pretty much ignoring the rest of the traffic trying to stay out of the way. Eventually he reached his turn off and it was done.

    Sure, I’d have been better to pull back after the guy decided not to let me overtake him before the turn, but I remember being baffled and rather amused by his antics after that. What exactly was he trying to achieve? I guess that’s what road rage does for you — irrational actions. Could have been so much worse, I suppose.

    I do wonder what percentage of road rage incidents result in actual violence (vehicular or otherwise) rather than people being silly buggers like in my incident.

  13. Hemidactylus says

    People loaded up with Trump flags, Fuck Brandon stickers, Gadsden flags, and other idiot indicators are committing covert road rage. I bet their tiny fuses are alway erect and about to erupt in flame. Probably crosses over with the flag thread.

  14. redwood says

    @9, 10 I visit the US every couple of years for a week or two these days, so I don’t have a lot of recent driving experience there. Still, I did experience a road rage incident in Florida just before Covid hit the fan. I was driving along an uncrowded highway with my Japanese wife and noticed the far right-hand lane I was using abruptly ended up ahead of me (no signs of warning that I could see). I checked behind me, saw a pickup in the next lane fairly far back with plenty of room for me to change lanes, so I signaled and did so. Well, this pissed the pickup driver off plenty. He swerved into the next lane over and blew past me, screaming and flipping the bird, his face red with rage. My wife was shocked, wondering what his problem was. Fortunately, he didn’t try any brake-checking crap and sped along his way, but my wife and I still talk about it, shaking our heads. I’ve driven a lot in Japan over the past 20 years but have never seen anything like that.

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