Maybe “Minnesota Nice” is more than a synonym for passive-aggressiveness. Maybe we’re just timid. Or perhaps we simply suffer from less self-importance than the guy who just cut you off in traffic, assuring that he’ll make it to his destination eight seconds faster that he would through courtesy.
No matter the reason, it appears the Twin Cities play host to the least aggressive drivers in the country.
So says Gas Buddy, a website that analyzes the oil market and pump prices around the country. Its data comes from the Gas Buddy app, which helps drivers improve their fuel efficiency by charting hard-braking, rapid acceleration, and speeding.
That means it’s an imperfect measurement, restricted to app users rather than the population at large. But it does offer insight into our hostility – or lack thereof -- on the road. And when we’re compared to drivers in the 30 largest metro areas, we’re downright passive – sans the aggressive part.
The most aggressive naturally come from the western and southern sprawl cities, where car is king and freeway congestion infuses normally decent people with impatience and rage. LA is No. 1 – 22 percent more aggressive than the U.S. average -- followed by such notables as Sacramento, San Diego, Orlando, and Austin.
The only northern cities to break the Top 10 were Philadelphia (2) and Detroit (8), where residents take great pride in their sense of dickdom, polishing it like fine silver handed down from grandma.
The Twin Cities were slouches by comparison. Not only did we finish dead last in aggressiveness, but we finished 29th in hard-braking, 27th in speeding, and 29th in rapid acceleration.
Then again, possessing a greater serenity behind the wheel should probably be considered a good thing.
And at least someone’s trying to do something about that whole speeding thing. Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault) has once again introduced his bill that would fine drivers who go too slow in the left lane and block traffic.
Violators would face at least a $100 fine, along with the shame of knowing they’re contributing to our last-place standing in aggressiveness studies.