A NEW study into road rage has revealed Britain is a nation of irate motorists with nearly three quarters admitting they get angry with other motorists when they’re behind the wheel.
Even more worrying, more than one in 10 have followed another driver and a similar number have even attacked another driver as a result of road rage.
The poll of 3,000 UK motorists by insurance specialist Admiral has revealed while 72% of drivers admit they feel road rage, more than three quarters (76%) act by shouting at other drivers and more than half (52%) make offensive gestures.
It is not just your stereotypical aggressive male drivers who see red behind the wheel. The results reveal road rage affects both genders but although women are more likely to feel angry when driving, it is men who are the most likely to shout or gesticulate at motorists who annoy them.
Admiral managing director Sue Longthorn said: “Sadly road rage doesn’t just manifest itself in shouting and gesticulating. More than one in ten (13%) of drivers we questioned said they have followed a driver that has annoyed them while nearly one in 10 (9%) admitted they have attacked another driver. The same number (9%) said they have been attacked by another driver themselves.
“It’s bad enough letting yourself be annoyed by other road users, but following them or even worse, attacking them is crazy. You have to ask yourself is it worth getting that upset at other road users? Will getting angry achieve anything other than raising your blood pressure?”
It seems our roads have become more hostile places than they were five years ago. Nearly half (47%) of those polled said they think other drivers are more angry than they were five years ago. However, drivers certainly are not as critical when looking at their own driving habits. Less than a fifth (18%) feel they are more angry when driving now than five years ago.
Sue added: “Vehicles can bring out the darker side of our personalities. Many of us will know someone who is mild mannered most of the time, but who, inside the confines of their car, can become easily enraged by another driver’s, often harmless, actions.”
This view is backed by Admiral’s research which found two fifths (42%) of drivers would not consider themselves to be an angry person but do get angry and frustrated when driving.
But what actions cause road rage? Admiral found other motorists driving too close or cutting us up gets our blood boiling most, along with general rudeness of other road users, driving too slowly and people who get distracted and do not pay attention.
More than half of those polled also said they are much more likely to get road rage if they’re in a rush, driving on inner city roads, in traffic jams, at roundabouts or on motorways.
However, it is not all bad news. Although a large proportion of motorists do see red when driving, three fifths (63%) said they think it is wrong to show road rage and almost one in seven (68%) feel guilty when they do.