Occupations with the Rudest Drivers in 2021

A businessman complaining about rude driving

Bad day at the office? These occupations have the rudest drivers in 2021; the list might surprise you. 

People’s jobs say a lot about who they are, from their skills and strengths to their values and aspirations. But who knew that your choice of career could shed light on your driving habits, too? As it turns out, someone’s profession can reveal much about how they act behind the wheel, especially when it comes to some of the worst behavior on the road: rude driving. The most egregious rude driving practices—such as failing to yield, tailgating, or passing where prohibited—are not only annoying but also incredibly dangerous to fellow motorists and pedestrians. 

All professions have their share of ill-mannered drivers, but certain occupations have drivers that exhibit frightfully high rates of the most extreme forms of rude driving behavior. To see which jobs’ drivers experience higher traffic violation rates, the data scientists at Insurify turned to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to determine the rudest driving occupations in 2021.

Bar graph depicting the 10 jobs with the rudest drivers in 2021

Insights

  • National averages.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics counted a total of 153,533,800 employed people in the United States, with an annual mean wage of $56,310.  Across all occupations, 2.06 percent of drivers report having at least one rude driving violation on record.
  • Certain driving jobs have higher rude violation rates. Driving itself is a major responsibility for three occupations on the list: taxi and limo drivers, valets, and delivery workers. All that extra time spent behind the wheel  might help to explain why these professions rack up rude driving violations at a rate over 2.4 times higher than the national average. Not all driving-intensive jobs, however, have such inconsiderate motorists. Only 2.46 percent of bus drivers, for example, have a rude driving infraction on record, a rate that is much closer to the national average of 2.06 percent
  • The occupation with the most polite drivers. Full-time students are the most polite drivers on the road, at least according to their driving record; a mere 0.12 percent of students report having received a citation for rude driving behavior. This rate is over 17 times lower than the national average. Of course, many high school and college students have not been behind the wheel for very long, giving them less time to accrue citations on their record. Plus, students, especially those who live on campus, typically drive fewer miles overall than professionals commuting to work daily. Still, the data suggests that student drivers are mostly well-behaved on the road, even if they have a reputation for reckless behavior. 

Methodology

Data scientists at Insurify, an auto insurance comparison site, referred to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to identify the occupations with the rudest drivers.

When applying for car insurance, applicants disclose their current occupation and any past violations on their driving record. Insurify determined the following violations as most indicative of rude driving: failure to yield violations (failure to yield the right of way, failure to yield to a pedestrian), failure to stop violations (failure to stop for a red light, school bus, or stop sign), improper backing, passing where prohibited, tailgating, street racing, and hit-and-runs

Analysts compared the number of drivers with each occupation with one of these violations on record against the total number of drivers with that occupation. The professions with the highest share of drivers with these penalties were determined as the occupations with the rudest drivers. 

Data on employment and wages come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 employment estimates. 

10 Occupations with the Rudest Drivers

10. Delivery Worker

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 4.77%
  • Number of people employed: 1,493,900
  • Average salary: $29,746
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign

Delivery drivers run on a tight schedule, so it is no wonder that they are more likely than the average commuter to run afoul of local traffic laws. With 4.77 percent of delivery workers having a rude driving citation on record, delivery drivers are 2.3 times ruder than the average motorist. Delivery workers have helped make shopping easier—and, during the pandemic, safer—than ever before, even if they do accumulate rude driving violations more often than the average driver.

9. Financial Trader

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 4.78%
  • Number of people employed: 492,100
  • Average salary: $96,630
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a red light

Financial traders are generally characterized in popular culture as brash, fast-paced, and perhaps not the most polite. While this is obviously not true of every Wall Street trader, the profession does rack up rude driving citations 2.3 times more often than average, and they also have by far the highest average salary of any occupation on this list. As such, it’s no surprise that financial traders have a less-than-positive perception in the public eye, though at least they are well equipped to cover the insurance hikes that follow any rude driving infraction.

8. Sales Representative

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 4.83%
  • Number of people employed: 8,929,800
  • Average salary: $45,750
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to yield to another driver

The most popular profession among the top ten occupations with the most rude driving violations, sales employees accrue rude driving citations at a rate 2.3 times greater than the national average. Though sales representatives always care for their customers, this care does not always come out while driving. Sales reps are one of just two occupations on this list whose most common rude citation is the failure to yield to another driver.

7. Broadcaster

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 5.03%
  • Number of people employed: 30,700
  • Average salary: $57,300
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to yield to another driver

Announcers and broadcasters, especially at the local level, often endear themselves to their community by providing a familiar presence on the morning news or narrating the ups and downs of a beloved sports team. This good will, however, does not seem to extend to the roads, as broadcasters rank seventh on the list of the rudest driving occupations. A full 5.03 percent of broadcasters have a prior citation for rude driving on record, making them 2.4 times more rude on the roads than the typical driver.

6. Valet

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 5.03%
  • Number of people employed: 59,600
  • Average salary: $23,260
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign

Valets handle important business: worrying about your car, so you don’t have to. While valets are great with other people’s vehicles, even with all that extra driving, they are more likely than the average driver to receive a citation for rude driving behavior. 5.03 percent of valet drivers have a rude driving citation on record, and they most commonly fail to stop at a stop sign.

5. Laborer

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 5.19%
  • Number of people employed: 4,633,200
  • Average salary: $34,720
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign

With a rude driving citation rate of 5.19 percent, laborers—including farm, construction, and industrial workers—record a rude driving violation 2.6 times more often than the average driver. Working in a physically demanding profession may mean that laborers drive tired more often than the average motorist. It can be easier to forget or disregard basic traffic rules while fatigued, so this could contribute to laborers’ high rate of rude driving behavior. 

4. Actor

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 5.37%
  • Number of people employed: 51,600
  • Average salary: $31.42 per hour
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign

For anyone but the brightest of stars, acting is often a stressful profession. Constantly auditioning for new roles while working irregular hours can lead to many tired, apprehensive, or even downright angry commutes, and these factors might ultimately lead to increased rude driving behavior. Overall, 5.37 percent of actors have a rude driving violation on record, a proportion that is well over twice the national average. 

3. Taxi/Limo Driver

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 5.45%
  • Number of people employed: 707,400
  • Average salary: $41,600
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a stop sign

Is anyone surprised to see taxi drivers near the top of the list for professions with the rudest drivers? More time spent out on busy city streets may account for some of their extra rude driving citations relative to other motorists, and taxi and limo drivers often have a financial incentive to provide a speedy ride, regardless of local traffic laws. That said, taxi and limo drivers are still the rudest of all professions who drive for a living. A full 5.45 percent of taxi and limo drivers have a rude driving citation on record, a rate 2.6 times greater than the national average. 

2. Journalist

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 6.25%
  • Number of people employed: 46,700
  • Average salary: $66,000
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a red light

Journalists undeniably have high-pressure jobs with tight deadlines, unusual hours, and frequent travel. Understandably, the ensuing stress can lead to some regrettable behavior out on the road—journalists are cited for rude driving behavior 3.0 times more often than the national average. Fortunately, they also have the second-highest average annual wage of any occupation on this list, and so should be better able to cover any fines or insurance premium hikes that may ensue from their careless behavior. 

1. Real Estate Appraiser

  • Drivers cited for rude behavior: 6.54%
  • Number of people employed: 78,700
  • Average salary: $65,630
  • Most common rude citation: Failure to stop at a red light

Who would have thought that real estate and property appraisers would accumulate the most citations for rude driving? 6.54 percent of property appraisers have a rude driving citation on record, a rate that is over 3.2 times greater than the national average. Appraisers have the important job of establishing a property’s value prior to sale. As such, real estate appraisers do spend a fair bit of time driving when commuting to various properties, which creates more opportunity to be cited for rude behavior. Their citation record does suggest, however, that they are less inclined to let the rules of the road keep them from where they are headed.

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

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