Road rage stunner: 2 in 3 drivers keep a weapon in their car

LONDON — A speeding car can be a deadly weapon all by itself, but a new survey finds many Americans make sure they’re armed when they get behind the wheel.

A poll of 1,000 U.S. residents, commissioned by Circuit Route Planner, finds that a staggering 65 percent of drivers keep a weapon in their vehicle in case they need to defend themselves during a road rage incident. The most common weapon drivers keep hidden is a knife (50%), followed by pepper spray (45%). However, 40 percent admit that they carry a gun with them while on the road.

Other weapons American drivers have on hand include tire irons (39%), baseball bats (38%), hockey sticks (31%), tasers (31%), and lacrosse sticks (14%).

As for which cars you may want to stay away from if things get heated on the road, the poll finds BMW, Hyundai, and Mercedes drivers are the most likely to keep a dangerous weapon in their car. Incidentally, researchers report that road rage shooting reached a record-high in 2021.

Concerningly, it doesn’t seem to matter where Americans drive, local residents believe the anger building up on roadways is the worst where they live. While 39 percent of urban drivers believe road rage is worse where they live than anywhere else in the country, 53 percent still think urban drivers are just as prone to road rage. More than half of rural (54%), small town (58%), and suburban (67%) think road rage is just as bad where they live as everywhere else — including cities.

Who are the biggest road rage culprits?

Whether it’s true or not, men have the worst reputation when it comes to angry behavior on the road. Half the poll think men are the most prone to road rage incidents, with younger drivers following as a close second (42%). People who own sports cars (35%), women (31%), and older drivers (28%) also get a bad rap for being overly aggressive drivers.

Interestingly, women appear to be the most critical of female drivers. In fact, women respondents were 71 percent more likely than men to accuse other women of succumbing to road rage.

So, what do we mean when we’re talking about “road rage”? These actions include everything from speeding (which 40% of respondents admit they do), honking (28%), braking suddenly or “brake checking” another driver (26%), giving angry hand gestures (24%), and yelling (23%).

However, things can get out of control quickly, leading some drivers to chase or race other cars (20%), cut off vehicles on purpose (16%), tailgate (16%), and even point a weapon at a fellow driver (4%).

The road rage capital is in… Oregon?

While busy streets and bumper-to-bumper traffic would seem to make major cities the perfect place for road rage, the survey found that America’s road rage “capital” is actually Eugene, Oregon!

Using data from Twitter, the poll found that for every 100,000 people, 500 #roadrage tweets came from this Pacific Northwest town. That’s over 100 more than the next closest location — Atlanta, Georgia. Interestingly, famously congested areas like New York and Los Angeles didn’t even make the top 20 cities for road rage.

road rage

Since road rage can easily lead to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities, researchers say it’s critical that drivers learn to keep a cool head. Here are a few tips from AAA for handling potential road rage incidents while driving:

  • Maintain a safe following distance
  • Only honk when necessary
  • Don’t cause others to change their speed or direction
  • Be kind (imagine the person who just pulled out in front of you lost their job today)
  • Don’t engage with angry motorists


Circuit Route Planner surveyed 1,000 Americans about their perceptions of road rage and their own driving behaviors. This data was combined with a Twitter scrape of #roadrage and analyzed by the location of each tweet. All data are per 100,000 residents in the top 150 cities by population in the U.S.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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  1. 80% of the all the people in Eugene, Oregon are college students. Thanks for playing.

    1. Sorry that you live in a leftist-ran sh*thole that makes it difficult to get a concealed carry license. I don’t find the 40% to be surprising at all, and would guess it’s higher in my state (OH). Probably closer to 60% now that we no longer even require the permit. Anyone would who qualify for a permit (no felonies, no domestic violence, no drug dependency) can legally carry concealed, including in their vehicles, no permit required.
      I see so many stories in the news about crime in places like NYC and LA that either never happens here or rarely happens here, and that’s because the criminals know that if they tried pulling that crap here there’s a VERY high chance that their would-be victim is packing heat.

  2. I think we should address the real problem behind road rage, the idiot with the drivers license in the car in front of you.

  3. I find it funny that no California city was listed. I was in LA over thanks giving and was astonished at how people drive. Mostly Democrat cities are listed!

  4. Eugene is a bastion of leftism AND a college town. Both leftists and young people run on emotion!

  5. Eugene is a liberal town surrounded by rural ultra-conservative areas (Proud Boys held July 4th parade in Creswell) so you can’t attribute the road rage to either group. I’ve lived lots of places but have experienced 3 road rage incidents in Eugene in the past 2 years and the only other one was Chicago 30 years ago so this article kind of rings true. I was attributing it to pandemic stress tho and thought road rage had gotten bad everywhere.

  6. People everywhere are getting more stressed and anxious than ever before. There’s pushes for aggressive/violent groups in Oregon (Antifa/BLM/Proud Boys/Defund Police). Eugene is a college town, these are mostly kids engaging in road rage. Young people are very influenced by anger, most of us had ‘teen angst’ but grew out of it. That’s changing.

  7. 100% can confirm Eugene is bad. Not a commuter day goes by that someone isn’t tailgating, excessively speeding or weaving in/out of traffic aggressively. All while raging at you for not clearing the way for them to whip by…worst it’s ever been. Congratulations EUG ;(

  8. The town has no logical street design.
    City planners were Hippys 40 years ago
    Did not want growth so did no design
    Any additional street for the now
    Additional 65,0000 people who live here.

  9. I carry syringes with deadly medicine made at New England Compounding Center.
    I pull a dexter and inject people and then drive away

  10. Eugene OR- interesting. That city has drug zombies roaming around 24/7 too. Don’t think we’ll be visiting there again. Scary place.

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