The Study: "Is an armed society a polite society? Guns and road rage," Accident Analysis and Prevention, Jan. 2006
The Findings: After cold-calling 2,459 American adults with an anonymous questionnaire, researchers from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center discovered that directing "indecent" gestures at other motorists was significantly more common among suburbanites, binge drinkers, Northeasterners, those who think most people can't be trusted and, yes, those who admitted that they keep guns in their vehicles.
Why Bother? The paper says it best: "If someone is giving you the finger, it may be useful to have some sense of whether or not they have a gun." Co-author Mary Vriniotis adds that states have recently loosened laws allowing motorists to drive while packing heat. The implication is that if lethal weapons are more readily
accessible, hostile driving incidents could turn ugly more often. Knowing which populations are prone to road rage could help policymakers devise awareness campaigns or other strategies to help curb its frequency.