According to an international survey Australians are some of the most aggressive drivers in the world. It’s not a flattering title but it probably doesn’t come as a surprise. It can be hectic out on the road.
Maybe we all haven’t jumped out of our vehicle and tried to start a fight in the middle of a highway, but telling off other motorists while the windows are still up? That’s a yes.
This new research found the most aggressive behaviours Australian motorists experience while driving are being cut off, tailgating, aggressive gestures, verbal abuse and other drivers driving too fast.
The study was conducted by LeasePlan, a company which leases fleet vehicles to businesses. It found Australians were exposed to higher levels of aggression on the road than the global average based on its 2016 Mobility Monitor Survey which collected data from 4,869 drivers from 22 countries.
Australian drivers reported higher incidences of aggressive driving and behaviour in most categories including:
- Tailgating: the global average was 70 per cent, Australia was 77 per cent
- Verbal abuse: the global average was 34 per cent, Australia was 41 per cent
- Cut off: the global average was 71 per cent, Australia was 81 per cent
What annoys Queenslanders on the roads
The RACQ conducted research on road rage in 2011 which found Queenslanders are most annoyed by:
- Drivers who increase their speed when you try to overtake them
- Litter thrown out of vehicles
- Mobile phone use behind the wheel
- Incorrect indicating (indicating too late or failing to indicate at all)
- Aggressive driving and behaviour (blowing the horn, verbal abuse and hand signals)
- Uncourteous behaviour (not allowing room to merge or change lanes)
- Motorists who don’t move over to allow others to overtake.
Here are some tips from the RACQ on managing road rage:
- Remain calm and relaxed
- Drive defensively and make allowances for errors by others
- Adopt a ‘share the road’ rather than a ‘me first’ approach to driving
- Use the horn sparingly and only as a warning device
- Leave unpleasant encounters or delays in the past and concentrate on the rest of the trip
- Don’t try to police other road users’ behaviours.
If you do chill out, you could save a life
LeasePlan Australian commercial director Greg Maimur said research showed aggressive driving was associated with more risk-taking behaviour on the road and was blamed for more than half of all fatal crashes.
“There are many factors that can contribute to aggression behind the wheel, and these impact a driver’s concentration and therefore increases the risk of collisions,” he said.
“Drivers should be mindful of their behaviour, the risk they pose to themselves and families, and to other drivers and their families.”
The Queensland Police holiday road safety campaign runs until the end of January and has a similar message. Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations may be over but make sure you remember this festive season for the right reasons.