Survey Reveals L.A. to Have Most Aggressive Drivers

Bumper to bumper traffic on 405 Freeway. Photo: Getty Images.

By Sam Catanzaro

Honking, squeaking brakes and bumper-to-bumper traffic are common problems in many of America’s congested cities and nowhere is this more apparent than in Los Angeles. 

According to a recent survey carried out by GasBuddy, Los Angeles is the city with the most aggressive drivers in the United States, followed by Philadephia, Sacramento and Atlanta. 

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“Frustration while driving in densely populated cities with high levels of congestion leads motorists to drive more aggressively and with more urgency. Interestingly, these are areas that typically see some of the highest gas prices in their respective states,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “With drivers in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Atlanta being 20 percent more aggressive than the average driver in America, it’s particularly important for commuters and rideshare drivers in these areas to work on shedding their lead foot and relax more to keep money from flying out the window each time they hit the road.”

Frustrated drivers can get agitated quickly, and their aggressive driving habits like speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower gas mileage by as much as 40 percent, costing them as much as $477 per year in additional fuel consumption. 

Los Angeles consistently tops the list of having some of the most expensive gas prices in the nation, currently averaging $3.35 per gallon. Combined with traffic and congestion, the study revealed that the way Los Angeles motorists are driving is also contributing to a larger gasoline budget. And it doesn’t stop with Los Angeles: four of the top 10 cities with the most aggressive drivers are in California, including Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego.

 The survey also revealed motorists are 1.2 times more likely to encounter aggressive driving on Friday than on Wednesday. The most aggressive day on the road is Friday, with 14 percent more aggressive driving events occurring compared to the average across the United States. The least aggressive day on the road is Wednesday, with 6 percent fewer aggressive driving events occurring compared to the average across the United States.

The most frequent aggressive driving habit on weekdays is hard braking, followed by rapid acceleration and speeding. On weekends, the most frequent aggressive driving habit continues to be hard braking, followed by speeding and rapid acceleration.

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