While no one is saying folks in Portland and Pittsburgh aren't tailgating or cutting one another off on the way to work in the morning, drivers there just aren't flipping anyone the bird over those roadway transgressions.
So says a recent study conducted by AutoVantage, a roadside assistance company, that listed Portland and Pittsburgh as the two cities with the "Most Courteous" drivers in the U.S.
The study, titled In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey, was conducted between March 27, 2014, and April 4, 2014, during which time 2,500 consumers age 21 and above, and who personally drove during rush hour (Monday through Friday) no fewer than 3 days per week, were surveyed.
For the second consecutive year Portland was crowned as the city with drivers least likely to flip out while behind the wheel and the Steel City moved from a fifth-place spot in 2013 to second place on the AutoVantage list.
Cities where you're likely to have a few fists shaken in your direction? Houston and Atlanta headed that dubious list, with Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Boston rounding out the top five "Least Courteous" driving cities. St. Louis, San Francisco, and Charlotte, N.C., finished off the favorable side of the most courteous list.
Other cities surveyed in 2014 include Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay. Observations for each city from the survey can be found here.
Speaking of road rage, a serious problem that is a factor in 56% of fatal crashes in the U.S., according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a team of European car researchers is working on an in-car infrared camera system that tracks the driver's facial expressions when behind the wheel.
The in-camera software can actually pick up that quick expression change from joyful to vengeful that occurs when road rage sets in. The camera is programmed to track what the researchers deemed to be the seven most universal emotions that our faces show -- fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, surprise and suspicion. The algorithms pick up what are considered to be the very specific facial muscle movements of these common emotions.
The system is currently being developed by EPFL's Signal Processing 5 Laboratory in association with PSA Peugeot Citroen. Perhaps this technology offers hope for the cities appearing on that "Least Courteous" list.