Minnesota, North Dakota drivers most polite
Drivers in North Dakota and Minnesota are among the most courteous in the nation, a new national survey found.
Truck drivers who had stopped at the Flying J Travel Plaza in south Fargo on Friday said they didn’t need a survey to know that Midwest drivers are polite.
Rob Walker, a 17-year veteran truck driver from San Antonio, said Midwest drivers are the most courteous while East Coast drivers are the worst.
“In the East Coast, forget about it. They cut you off and they don’t have any consideration,” Walker said. In the Midwest, ‘everyone’s civilized,’ ” he added.
Several East Coast states were among the top 10 in the list of states with the rudest drivers.
Walker’s take on eastern drivers was backed up by the survey. In addition to New York, the top 10 states for rude drivers included Massachusetts, Delaware, Vermont and New Jersey.
Reza Ghafari, who has been driving a semi for three years, said he thinks Los Angeles has the worst drivers. California ranked 17th in the survey, which didn’t break down its results by city.
He said Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota are peaceful places to drive.
“They never cut off trucks here,” he said. “In L.A., they have personal problems with truck drivers. They cut us off a lot.”
Walker and Ghafari both said they thought drivers were courteous in Oregon and Washington, states that ranked among the top 10 least rude in the survey.
Mike Gestring, who has been driving a truck for 10 years, said he almost exclusively travels from the Canadian border south to Oklahoma.
“I have no problems anywhere I go,” he said.
Gestring’s regular route generally features ruder drivers the farther south it stretches, according to the survey.
After enjoying the top-ranking politeness of North Dakota roadways, he would presumably travel through South Dakota and Nebraska – the 11th- and 8th-least rude states, respectively.
But by the time he gets to Kansas, he shares the road with drivers with middle-of-the-pack manners. Twenty-two states have drivers who are less rude than those in Kansas, the survey found.
Arriving in Oklahoma, Gestring would encounter drivers who are the 16th-rudest in the nation.
In general, most states that ranked as less rude are in the Midwest and in the North, while many of the ruder-ranking states are on the coasts and in the South. There are plenty of exceptions, though. Idaho, Wyoming and Utah are all top states for behind-the-wheel boorishness, while the Carolinas and Tennessee rank among the 15 least rude states.
But it’s not a mystery why Midwest drivers are apparently better at keeping their cool. Driving is easier here.
“In our environment we don’t have the traffic issues other places have, and people don’t spend the same time in cars as they do in those places,” said Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel.
Vettel said his department does deal on occasion with incidents of road rage.
“We aren’t immune to that here in Fargo, but it’s certainly not something we see on a daily basis,” he said.
Moorhead police Lt. Tory Jacobson said it’s nice to be recognized for being nice, but there are always exceptions.
He’s heard of instances in Moorhead where someone didn’t like someone else’s driving, so they confronted the bad driver and ended up getting assaulted.
Road rage is a spontaneous emotional reaction, he said, and sometimes people just act out.
States with the least-rude drivers:
1. North Dakota
3. New Hampshire (tie)
3. Montana (tie)
10. North Carolina
States with the rudest drivers:
2. Washington, D.C.
3. New York
6. Delaware (tie)
6. Vermont (tie)
8. New Jersey
Source: Survey of 2,000 motorists by Insure.com