‘Tis the Season. . .for holiday traffic! As millions of Americans hit the road and traffic increases between now and the new year, Zipcar, the world’s leading car-sharing network, conducted its annual survey to determine how travelers pass time in holiday traffic.

As expected, the top answers include looking for a quicker route and singing along to tunes: More than two-fifths (44%) turn up the music loud and proud and one-quarter (25%) simply seek a shortcut. But, some of the more interesting things going on behind closed car doors? When really stuck in traffic, 62% of respondents turn to gossip, 28% turn up the heat and get romantic and 10% prank their co-pilot.

In true American form, each state has its own personality when it comes to surviving holiday gridlock:

  • Texas may be the biggest continental U.S. state, but it’s not the biggest mouthed. Utah is four times more likely to gossip than Texas; and Michigan is three times more likely to gossip than Virginia. Looks like southern manners may be real.
  • The states most likely to pull over for some mountainside romance? Utah and Colorado. Least likely include Georgia and Mississippi.
  • Acting as its own “comedy central,” New Yorkers are the most likely to pull pranks on their co-pilot; Michigan passengers are least likely.
  • South Dakotans and Georgians are twice as likely to call someone important over those in Maine and Oklahoma. Wonder which states have the happiest moms?
  • Looking for the best shortcut? Phone a friend in New Jersey. More than 1/3 of people in the Garden State search for a shorter route at first break light sight (nearly 10 points higher than the national average).

State-by-state map available for download here.

State-by-State Overview of Data

Action

Most Likely

Least Likely

Call Someone Important

  • South Dakota – 16.85%
  • Georgia – 16.49%
  • Rhode Island – 15.91%
  • Alabama – 15.76%
  • Louisiana – 15.50%
  • Kentucky – 6.16%
  • Washington – 6.41%
  • Arkansas – 7.53%
  • Oklahoma – 8.08%
  • Maine – 8.2%

Find a Shortcut

  • New Jersey – 33.37%
  • South Carolina – 32.26%
  • Alabama – 31.95%
  • Connecticut – 31.53%
  • Kentucky – 30.11%
  • South Dakota – 15.07%
  • Idaho – 17.68%
  • Hawaii – 18.86%
  • North Dakota – 18.90%
  • Colorado – 19.02%

Gossip

  • Utah – 12.43%
  • Michigan – 12.42%
  • New Hampshire – 11.69%
  • Kentucky – 11.38%
  • New York – 10.27%
  • Texas – 3.16%
  • Arkansas – 3.5%
  • Virginia – 4.05%
  • Connecticut – 4.14%
  • Kansas – 4.28%

Play Pranks on Co-Pilot

  • New York – 7.73%
  • Idaho – 7.62%
  • Tennessee – 7.39%
  • Nebraska – 6.88%
  • Connecticut – 5.79%
  • Michigan – 1.73%
  • Colorado – 1.98%
  • Rhode Island – 2.30%
  • California – 2.35%
  • West Virginia – 2.47%

Pull Over and Get Romantic

  • Utah – 1/10 (10.39%)
  • Colorado – 1/10 (10.01%)
  • South Carolina – 9%
  • Iowa – 8.19%
  • Vermont – 8.15%
  • Georgia – 1.35%
  • Mississippi – 2.21%
  • West Virginia – 2.76%
  • New Hampshire – 3.09%
  • Florida – 3.29%

Turn Up Music Loud

  • New Mexico – 53.07%
  • Hawaii – 52.64%
  • Arkansas – 51.33%
  • Indiana – 50.82%
  • Wyoming – 49.72%
  • South Carolina – 34.54%
  • Vermont – 36.06%
  • Alabama – 36.29%
  • New Jersey – 36.90%
  • Virginia – 37.72%


Methodology: The survey was conducted in November 2018 and included a random sample of 10,079 U.S. residents (regardless of Zipcar membership status) with a minimum sample size of 200 respondents per state.

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