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Motorists driven to road rage

Traffic jam

More than one in five (22%) of motorists have got out of their vehicle to argue with another driver in a road rage incident, according to a new study from automotive data experts, HPI.

The research also reveals that a fifth (19%) have actually followed another driver following an incident. Women drivers are the worst offenders with (20%) having knowingly followed another driver compared with (18%) of men.

What’s more, 23% of men have got out their vehicle to confront another driver compared with 21% of women.

More than a third (39%) say that having a bad day has led them to taking this out on other motorists and 3% of drivers confess to ‘always being furious’ when they are driving.

Dangerous overtaking by other motorists is the main trigger for frustration among nearly a third of drivers (28%), with a fifth (20%) tipped over the edge by impatient tailgaters.

For 17% of drivers the thing that makes their blood boil is seeing motorists who persist with illegally using their mobile phones and for one in 10 (10%), it’s drivers breaking the speed limit that raises the blood pressure the most.

When quizzed about UK roads, it’s the issue of potholes that drives nearly a third (31%) of motorists potty followed by congestion and sitting in traffic jams for a frustrated fifth (20%). Never-ending roadworks continue to set 16% on edge and parking issues such as expense and not being able to find a space aggrieves around one in ten drivers.

On the most annoying drivers, white van man tops the offenders list for the majority with 23% of motorists finding them to be the most infuriating followed by cyclists (19%), mini-cab and Uber drivers (11%) and careless pedestrians (8%).

In-car, backseat drivers are the cause of frustration for over a quarter (27%) followed by squabbling kids (17%) and passengers who mess around with the car stereo (11%). One in ten (10%) just want to concentrate on the road ahead and can’t be doing with incessant chatter of fellow passengers.

“Our research of what really gets UK motorists hot under the collar reveals some fascinating findings,” said Fernando Garcia, consumer director at HPI. “What it really highlights is that it doesn’t take much to wind up UK drivers and many are putting their safety and the well-being of others at risk.

“With nearly a quarter willing to get out of their vehicle and confront another driver, this could easily escalate into something far more serious and drivers need to think about remaining calm and collected when behind the wheel.

“We’ve all had incidents that have led to frustration while driving but motorists need to have respect for passengers and other drivers. We would urge them to think twice before doing anything that endangers safety or could lead to the police getting involved.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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