Many motorists continue to over step the mark when it comes to venting their anger while driving according to the AA. In their recent Motor Insurance Poll more than 10,000 motorists confessed to committing an act of road rage within the last three years. Among the most common of these aggressive behaviours was excessive honking of the horn, making rude gestures and most worryingly deliberate tail-gating.
Half of those who admitted suffering from road rage said they’d beeped another driver out of it in their angry state. 48.1% said they’d made a rude gesture and 20% employed the bullying tactic of deliberately tailgating another vehicle. Following this, 19.1% said they’d rolled down their window to yell at another driver while 5.3% actually got out of their car to give someone a piece of their mind.
“This is really worrying to hear.” Says John Farrell, Director of AA Motor Insurance. “While the reckless behavior of other drivers may make the hackles on the back of your neck rise, it’s up to you to control your reaction. If you meet an angry driver on the road the worst thing that you can do is provoke him further by reacting.”
The findings of the AA Motor Insurance poll would suggest that male drivers are more likely than females to let their tempers get the better of them while driving. 22.5% of male motorists compared with 12% of females within the AA’s sample admitted to rolling down their car window to shout at another motorist. 21.5% of males compared with 17.4% of females confessed to brazenly tailgating another driver to get their own way. And 6.3% of males compared with 3.5% of female drivers admitted they went to the extreme of getting out of their car to confront another driver.
“During our motor insurance poll we received more than 4,000 individual comments on road rage, says Farrell. “Thankfully, what we learned is that there are a huge number of drivers perfectly capable of containing their annoyance to a few mumbled curse words. However we did also learn of worrying behaviors such as deliberately slowing down to aggravate impatient drivers and even pursuing other drivers to confront them.”
Looking at Ireland’s 10 most populous counties, the AA Motor Insurance poll reveals that Meath drivers are the most likely to make a rude gesture and roll down their window to make their feelings known. Donegal motorists are the most likely to go overboard when beeping another vehicle. Galwegians are the worst for tailgating and in Tipperary as many as 7.5% of those motorists to have given into road rage within the last three years said they had gotten out of their car to give out to another driver.
AA Tips on coping with road rage and aggressive drivers
- Don’t let the aggressive actions of other drivers trigger your anger. You’ll only exasperate the problem.
- Get out of the way of the other driver. Your safety comes first.
- Don’t be tempted to slow down to get your point across. You may enrage the other driver further and jeopardise your own and other drivers’ safety.
- Don’t take it personally. If it wasn’t you, it’d probably be someone else.
- Focus on your own driving and don’t let them be a distraction.
- Stay calm – take a deep breath and count to ten if you need to.
- Don’t get out of your car if approached by a visibly aggressive driver.
- If you feel they are a continued danger to other motorists, ask your passenger to note their registration number and notify the Gardaí.
- Visit the AA Ireland Blog www.theaaa.ie/blog and let us know the road rage incidents you are witnessing.
Fig.1 – Road rage related activities motorists in Ireland admit to having done within the last 3 years (based on 10,274 responses):
|Excessively beeped my horn at another driver||49.6%|
|Made rude gestures at another driver||48.1%|
|Deliberately tailgated another driver who had annoyed me.||20.0%|
|Rolled down my window to yell at another driver||19.1%|
|Got out of my car to confront another driver||5.3%|
Fig. 2 – Road rage related activities MALE motorists in Ireland admit to having done within the last 3 years (based on 6,127 responses):
|Excessively beeped my horn at another driver||49.5%|
|Made rude gestures at another driver||47.5%|
|Deliberately tailgated another driver who had annoyed me||21.5%|
|Rolled down my window to yell at another driver||22.5%|
|Got out of my car to confront another driver||6.3%|
Fig. 3 – Road rage related activities FEMALE motorists in Ireland admit to having done within the last 3 years (based on 3,398 responses):
|Excessively beeped my horn at another driver||53.0%|
|Made rude gestures at another driver||46.5%|
|Deliberately tailgated another driver who had annoyed me||17.4%|
|Rolled down my window to yell at another driver||12.0%|
|Got out of my car to confront another driver||3.5%|
Fig. 4 – County by county split, based on Ireland’s most populous counties*, of road rage related activities motorists in Ireland admit to having done within the last 3 years (based on 10,274 responses):
|Excessively beeped their horn at another driver||Made rude gestures at another driver||Deliberately tailgated another driver who had annoyed them||Rolled down their window to yell at another driver||Got out of their car to confront another driver|
|Dublin (7,667 responses)||48.7%||50.7%||18.1%||21.4%||5.5%|
|Cork (1,083 responses)||52.7%||45.3%||21.1%||21.0%||5.3%|
|Limerick (337 responses)||55.2%||43.0%||20.2%||15.1%||4.2%|
|Galway ( 424 responses)||47.9%||49.5%||23.1%||13.7%||5.2%|
|Kildare (659 responses)||51.6%||49.5%||18.8%||19.7%||5.6%|
|Tipperary (201 responses)||49.8%||42.8%||21.4%||13.9%||7.5%|
|Donegal ( 127 responses)||63.0%||35.4%||22.0%||13.4%||3.1%|
|Meath ( 429 responses)||46.9%||55.0%||19.8%||22.1%||4.9%|
|Kerry ( 136 responses)||41.9%||49.3%||19.9%||11.0%||6.6%|
|Mayo ( 178 responses)||51.7%||43.8%||17.4%||14.0%||4.5%|