British Road Rage Shame
Recent surveys have found that Britain, shamefully, is one of the worst countries in the world for road rage. Far from the image we were once famed for, of having great restraint and a “stiff upper lip”, it appears our behaviour often actually borders upon hooliganism when we get behind the wheel.
One of the surveys was conducted across a range of 20 countries and involved more than 3,000 motorists, the results were not something that most self respecting drivers in Britain would be proud of. Ever found yourself blocked in by another driver when you were out driving? If you live in Britain you stand the most chance of this happening to you, a staggering 73% of us have experienced this, compared to the much lower figure of 42% in France and only 15% and 13% for motorists in Norway and Turkey respectively. More than half (53%) of British drivers had suffered verbal aggression whilst at the wheel compared to 47% of those in Germany and 44% of drivers in France, the figure for Dutch motorists was 17% and Turkey 15%. An unacceptable 76% of British drivers had experienced aggressive gestures whilst they were behind the wheel, compared to 73% for French drivers – still rather high, much lower for Germany at 43%, Portugal 24% and finally, Turkey at 23%. Another survey which polled 1,035 readers of Max Power (a well known Auto magazine) in association with the RAC Foundation, found that almost nine out of ten drivers in the United Kingdom had been a victim of road rage at least once and that 20% said they had experienced road rage more than ten times! Those readers polled were typically aged somewhere between sixteen and thirty years old. These results are quite simply horrendous but what was even worse is that more than 70% of those polled admitted that they had been guilty of committing road rage themselves, with just a paltry 14% regretting their actions. Three in five of those who admitted committing road rage said they felt “fine” about it and that their unfortunate victims had “deserved” it. The Editor of Max Power, John Sootheran, said “This research proves that Britain’s roads are not a friendly place to be.” He added “While it’s shocking that so many young drivers are victims or instigators of road rage, I believe these results only reflect the stressful and hectic lifestyles we lead – particularly in urban environments.” Edmund King is the Executive Director of the RAC Foundation and he said “This survey is a revealing and alarming insight into some young drivers’ attitudes. Road rage seems to be linked to congestion and stress, as most incidents occur in the busier towns and cities.” Mr King added that “Drivers should not respond aggressively to irritation on the roads. It may be tough on the streets but that’s no excuse for raging against other drivers.”
Of course road rage is not experienced or committed by young drivers only, all age groups and all genders have either been victims of road rage or have been the instigator of it. Research is showing that our stressful lives and the high levels of congestion on our roads are part of the cause of this extremely poor driver behaviour.