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Road rage a driver turn-off

2012-06-22 11:19

'HEY! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?' Road rage in the UK has led to one out of two drivers admitting they no longer enjoy driving.

A UK survey conducted by tyre manufacturer Continental has shown 50% of drivers no longer enjoy driving because it comes with the threat of road rage.

Among the 2000 drivers surveyed, around 15% admitted to getting out of their cars to confront another driver, while a third said they “expected” to experience aggressive or intimidating driving. The study also found seven out of ten drivers believed they were more aggressive behind the wheel than at any other time.

It also emerged that when on the receiving end of road rage 40% felt angry, 28% felt shaken and 22% felt like retaliating.

'NORMAL CUES' ABSENT


Dr Mark Sullman, expert in driver behaviour at Cranfield University said: “When driving, we are prevented from using the normal cues to work out people's intentions, such as facial expression and body language, so we are more likely to misunderstand their behaviour and interpret it in a negative way.

“For instance if you bump into someone on foot,  a quick smile or ‘oops’ is all that is needed to show it was accidental.  However, when in the car, with the absence of cues, people are much more likely to react in an aggressive manner than in other ‘public’ situations.”   

The study, however, also identified Brits grudgingly accept their own failings as drivers.

More than four in ten (41%) admitted they could be angry drivers while 15% even owned up to getting out of their car to confront another road user.

THE TRIGGERS


Getting a blast of the hooter from another driver is the most common form of aggression, followed by being “tailgated” and someone braking hard in front of you.

The next most common forms of road rage triggers are drivers squeezing into small gaps ahead of you, being flashed to get out of the way and offensive hand gestures.

The survey was conducted by Continental Tyres as part of its UK ‘Courtesy Campaign’ to encourage more courteous driving. Now that’s a novel idea.

How do you think South African drivers would compare? Tell us in the comments section below.  

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