Now, here’s a shocker: California has the most aggressive drivers in the nation.
That’s according to a study by national gas price tracker GasBuddy.com , which says its research found that Golden State motorists typically mash the accelerator when traffic lights turn green and subsequently speed to their destinations like a doomsday clock was ticking. The state apparently also leads the league in hard-braking maneuvers.
Those driving habits can lower gas mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to GasBuddy. That can cost individual motorists as much as an extra $477 per year in fuel costs.
The result of all that aggressive driving is more frequent trips to the gas pumps.
The GasBuddy analysis noted that severe traffic congestion in the state’s metro areas likely contributes to the aggressive driving habits of California motorists.
“Our findings indicate that states with densely populated cities and high levels of congestion are where motorists are more inclined to drive aggressively,” said Patrick DeHaan , head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “And with gas prices expected to continue to rise well into the summer months, simply being aware of how you drive can dramatically lower fuel costs, prevent damages to your vehicle and make the roads safer for everyone.”
Oh, and California having the highest gasoline prices in the nation -- an average $3.56 a gallon statewide, according to GasBuddy’s Tuesday figures – also played a role.
GasBuddy said the average number of minutes between “aggressive driving events” in California was 6.6 minutes. For comparison, drivers in No. 10-ranked Arizona went nearly 10 minutes between such events.
California was followed on the most-aggressive list by Connecticut, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina, respectively.
The findings were compiled using data from GasBuddy’s “Trips” feature, which can be monitored via a smartphone and provides drivers with an assessment of their driving habits during trips. The feature actually is designed to improve fuel efficiency, mapping out when and where poor driving habits occur.
GasBuddy said it examined “tens of millions” of trips in all 50 states since Dec. 12, 2017, noting the frequency of an aggressive event – defined as speeding, hard braking or aggressive accelerating.