30 November 2017
One in Ten Motorists Drive Dangerously Because of Road Rage
Over three quarters of Brits admit to having suffered from road rage when they get behind the wheel, new research reveals.
Shockingly, almost one in ten revealed that they has driven recklessly as a result, beeping horns, driving too fast and tail gating other motorists.
Motorists hogging the middle lane, bad parking, and inconsiderate drivers not saying thank you were the most common reasons people lost their cool, while many also cited road works as their main source of frustration.
One in five said they suffer from road rage often or every time they drive (20 per cent) and 20 per cent of those who get angry behind the wheel admit to doing it when they have children in the car. Half of drivers have also been on the receiving end of road rage (47 per cent).
The research was carried out by road traffic defence specialists Slater and Gordon and revealed the level of anger on our roads.
Paul Reddy, head of road traffic defence at Slater and Gordon, said: “Our research shows road rage is one of the biggest problems on our roads with millions of people seeing red because of other drivers’ actions. Even a momentary loss of temper can have devastating consequences for you and other road users. Just because somebody else has driven in a dangerous or erratic manner it does not justify responding in the same way.
“In fact, should an incident occur and it’s discovered that you have been driving aggressively, swerving or racing, it will land you in serious trouble. Road rage is a huge aggravating factor which could and does end up in a custodial sentence.”
A quarter of us (28 per cent) say our anger while driving does or could make us a danger on the road with one in four (24 per cent) saying we pay more attention to other drivers than the road ahead.
One in three (35 per cent) said they beeped their horn and 33 per cent said they shouted or used inappropriate gestures.
Drivers cutting in lanes was the biggest cause of anger (61 per cent) with seeing other people using their mobile phones also a great irritant (57 per cent).
The study showed just over half of drivers (54 per cent) believed they could be safer on the roads with almost half of motorists (47 per cent) admitting they’d been on the receiving end of road rage. 45 per cent had experienced it first-hand travelling in the same car as a driver who had become angry.
Drivers in London are most likely to put lives at risk. A whopping 36 per cent of motorists in the capital said they drive dangerously because of road rage with only 2 per cent of motorists in Bristol admitting the same.
But while we have a disregard for our own safety, it seems many drivers want to keep those close to them out of danger with 40 per cent saying they drive safer when they have passengers in their car. Two thirds (70 per cent) say it’s because they have other people’s safety to think of.
Almost two thirds of drivers (62 per cent) said it wasn’t their fault when they got angry behind the wheel with one in five (21 per cent) regretting their actions after a road rage incident.
A quarter of drivers (24 per cent) confessed they don’t even remember what happened to get them so angry behind the wheel.
While only one in six (17 per cent) had seen their driving land them in trouble with the police, one in ten (11 per cent) thought their behaviour behind the wheel could cause them to lose their licence.
One in five drivers (21 per cent) have been warned to calm down because they’re too angry behind the wheel.
More than four in ten (42 per cent) had feared for their safety because of the behaviour or another driver with three in four (74 per cent) having experienced inappropriate gestures from other motorists with women and drivers over 55 years old more likely to be on the receiving end.
Paul Reddy added: “It is crucial that drivers try to stay calm behind the wheel. Even if the ‘rage’ doesn’t end in an altercation, many people are convicted for driving carelessly as a result of their anger. Just as screaming at somebody or threatening another person in the street when they annoy you is unacceptable, and often illegal, it is also the case when driving.
“Even things that people might deem trivial could land them in trouble. For example, tooting your horn in anger is actually a criminal offence. You can’t sound it between 11.30pm and 7am unless in an emergency situation either. It’s vital you stay calm if you want to stay safe and out of trouble on the roads.”
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