Whose supporters are the rudest to other drivers: Trump's or Clinton's?

November 3, 2016

It's happened to all of us recently: you're driving along, trying not to think about the contentious upcoming election, when you notice a bumper sticker on the car in front of you, emblazoned with the name of your least favorite candidate. What do you do?

If you're like most people, you choke down the bile rising in your throat, turn up the radio, and go to your mental happy place. But to a small number of motorists, bumper stickers are the equivalent of fighting words, which can affect the way those people drive. 

That news comes via Openbay, an app that allows car-owners to get bids from a number of garages before having their vehicles serviced. Just for kicks, the company recently surveyed 330 Americans about their political beliefs and how those beliefs might affect their driving habits. Here are the survey's big takeaways:

  • Of those surveyed, 30 percent said that they were Democrats, 32 percent said that they were Republicans, and 38 percent identified as Independents.
  • That breakdown is roughly in keeping with the respondents' votes: 28 percent of respondents said that they were voting for Clinton, another 28 percent voiced support for Trump, 9 percent supported Gary Johnson, and 34 percent supported none of the three.
  • Given that marked ambivalence, it's not surprising that just 2 percent of respondents said that they'd put a bumper sticker for a presidential candidate on their car. When asked why:
    • 38 percent thought it would deface the vehicle;
    • 36 percent thought the stickers were ugly;
    • 27 percent said that they didn't care to share their political beliefs with strangers (those folks could teach the people of Facebook a thing or two);
    • 15 percent were afraid of drivers who might get aggressive after seeing their bumper sticker; 
    • 4 percent actually said it would make them fear for their lives.
  • Those last two groups of people might be on to something. Though most drivers said that bumper stickers touting political candidates they disliked didn't affect them, 6 percent admitted that they "gesture or drive aggressively when they see a bumper sticker whose presidential candidate they oppose".
  • Who do those aggro folks support? 
    • 32 percent support Donald Trump
    • 28 percent support Gary Johnson
    • 20 percent support Hillary Clinton
    • 20 percent support none of the three
  • And just so you know: of the 6 percent of aggressive drivers, 60 percent were men, 40 percent were women.

Do bumper stickers for political candidates grind your gears? Or do you just keep on cruising and fantasize about next Wednesday? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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