Angry Roads: new research reveals scale of our road rage nation
15th November 2018 - One in five (20 percent) UK drivers, some 7.5 million road users, experience road rage at least once a week, while six percent – over two million drivers – get it every day, according to new research from BigChange, the mobile workforce management software company.
The study of more than 1,000 drivers showed that regular road rage was most common amongst younger drivers. Almost half of 18-34 year olds (42 percent) admitted to experiencing road rage at least once a week, while 14 percent of younger drivers said they got angry at the wheel every day. One in five (20 percent) drivers aged 35-54 and just seven percent of those over 55 admitted to experiencing road rage on a weekly basis.
The survey, which was conducted for BigChange by the consultancy Opinium and published as part of Leaders for Life, a new campaign to help business leaders promote safer driving at work, revealed that female drivers were also more likely to experience road rage than their male counterparts. More than a quarter (27 percent) of women who drive regularly for work admitted to getting road rage at least once a week, compared to less than a fifth (18 percent) of men.
Drivers of convertible vehicles were particularly prone to experiencing road rage, with almost half (44 percent) getting angry at the wheel every week and a quarter (23 percent) doing so on a daily basis. By contrast, MPV drivers were the calmest road users, with just nine percent getting angry at the wheel each week.
Amongst drivers of the most popular car brands on UK roads, Audi owners were the most likely to get angry at the wheel, with more than a third (36 percent) saying they did so weekly and almost one in five (16 percent) every day. By contrast, drivers of Peugeot and Renault vehicles were the calmest, with only 11 percent of them experiencing road rage each week.
Martin Port, CEO of BigChange, said:
“Our research shows that road rage is a major problem on UK roads, and while certain groups are statistically more likely to experience it than others, it is an issue that can potential affect everyone. We know that road rage, alongside workplace stress and the pressure of running late for appointments, is a major contributor to dangerous driving behaviours on UK roads. People who plan ahead and leave a little more time for their journeys tend to experience less stress while driving and pose less risk to themselves and others.”
Paul Hackett, Founding Partner of The WellBeings.London, a health and wellness insight-led growth consultancy, said:
“Working hard, late-night shifts, tight deadlines are among the litany of workplace factors that have a psychological impact on employees. If those employees then carry their stress with them behind the wheel, we know the likelihood of them driving erratically is significantly higher. A stressed or anxious driver’s heart rate can accelerate from a typical 70bpm to over 180bpm; a dangerously high rate for many. Anger narrows a driver’s focus of attention, most often resulting in the driver becoming territorial and impatient – which, in turn, means the driver is more likely to speed or commit other inappropriate driving behaviour.”