Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Aussie motorists getting angrier: report

Australian drivers are getting angrier and they're not shy about showing other motorists exactly how they feel.

Figures released by insurance company AAMI shows driver aggression is at an all-time high with acts of revenge becoming increasingly popular.

The figures show 68 per cent of drivers had been tailgated at some point, while 32 per cent said they had been followed.

The number of motorists who considered tailgating to be an acceptable response to road rage had more than quadrupled since AAMI first canvassed road rage among drivers in 1997 when just five per cent said they had been angry enough to tailgate another driver.

Alarmingly, one in seven drivers surveyed said they had been forced off the road, while one in 10 have had their car wilfully damaged as a result of an altercation with another motorist.

Two-thirds, or 69 per cent, said they had been verbally abused, while four in five, or 83 per cent, had received rude hand gestures.

More than half (57 per cent) of those surveyed admitted to gesturing rudely or yelling at another driver when they had done something dangerous or rude.

Of those, 83 per cent thought the payback was justified.

"While many of us have sworn or gestured rudely at other drivers from time to time, it is completely unacceptable that one-fifth of drivers have become so angry with the actions of another motorist that they have resorted to tailgating," AAMI public affairs manager Geoff Hughes said.

"If this wasn't bad enough, 60 per cent of those drivers thought tailgating as retribution was entirely justifiable."

"The rise in road rage is worrying in itself, however, also concerning is the increasing number of motorists who believe this sort of retaliation is entirely acceptable," Mr Hughes said.

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