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1 in 3 drivers 'expect' aggression or intimidation on Irish roads

A survey on motorists says that 13 per cent of them have gotten out of their car to confront another driver.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

NEW FIGURES ON road rage in Ireland suggest that it is not an unusual experience for drivers.

Nearly 40 per cent of the Irish drivers who took part in a Continental Tyres survey of 300 people said that they shout or get angry behind the wheel on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, 13 per cent of them have gotten out of their car in order to confront another driver. Plus nearly one in three of the respondents said that they ‘expect’ to experience aggressive or intimidating driving while out in their car.

Paddy Murphy of Continental Tyres Ireland said that the road rage figures “are shocking”.

Of paramount importance is road safety but if motorists feel intimidated or angry they will lack concentration, increasing the danger for other road users, never mind not enjoying the driving experience.

He said the company is urging drivers to consider using more courtesy while driving, “not only to improve safety and the driving experience but also because showing consideration to others on the roads actually eases congestion and reduces delays”.

The survey also showed:

  • When on the receiving end of road rage, 40 per cent feel angry, 21 per cent feel shaken and nearly one in five (18.9 per cent) feel like retaliating.
  • Getting a blast of the horn from another driver is the most common form of aggression, followed by offensive hand gestures and being ‘tailgated’.
  • Of the road users who annoy drivers the most, learners topped the list (52.7 per cent), followed by older or slower drivers (45.5 percent) and boy racers (43.6 per cent).

Dr Mark Sullman, expert in driver behaviour at Cranfield University said:

When driving, we are prevented from using the normal cues to work out people’s intentions, such as facial expression and body language, so we are more likely to misunderstand their behaviour and interpret it in a negative way.

He advises that motorists can choose not to let it rile them “and instead deal with the situation in a positive way, such as concentrating on driving safely yourself or realising that everyone makes mistakes”.

Read: Half of Irish drivers admit to suffering road rage>

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