Admiral has revealed that Britain is a nation of irate motorists with nearly three quarters admitting they get angry with other motorists when they're behind the wheel, according to a new study into road rage. Even more worrying, more than one in ten 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 car 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's not just your stereotypical aggressive male drivers who see red behind the wheel. The results reveal road rage affects both genders and, 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 the drivers we questioned said they have followed a driver that has annoyed them while nearly one in ten (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 drivers? Will getting angry achieve anything other than raising your blood pressure?"
It seems the 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 aren't as critical when looking at their own driving habits; less than a fifth (18%) feel they are angrier when driving now than 5 years ago.
Longthorn 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, sometimes harmless, actions."
This view is backed up by Admiral's research which found that two fifths (42%) of drivers wouldn't consider themselves to be an angry person but do get angry and frustrated when driving.
Admiral found what gets motorists' blood boiling the most is when other drivers drive too close or cut them off. General rudeness of other road users, driving too slowly and people who get distracted are three other instigators of road rage in motorists.
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 or at roundabouts.
However, it's 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%) said they feel guilty when they do.
Admiral, (a trading name of EUI Ltd) launched in 1993, and is part of Admiral Group plc. It was set up to target those motorists who traditionally pay higher than average premiums, including those under-35, living in cities or driving hot hatches. It now offers its unique Admiral MultiCar policy for households with two or more cars.
Admiral writes its motor insurance business to a consortium of insurers, these being Admiral Insurance Company Ltd, Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited and Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) plc.
The Admiral Group employs over 4,500 people in the UK and has more than 2.8 million customers in the UK.
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