Mirror, mirror in the car who is the angriest of them all?

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Report by NewsroomPlus.com

Contributed by Rupeni Vatubuli 

With road congestion and car use as heavy as they are, it’s reasonable to ask what the difference between aggressive driving and road rage are? Canstar Blue reckon Australians are worse than New Zealanders – how do comparisons between countries stack up?

So are aggressive driving and road rage the same thing?

Aggressive driving is a traffic offense or combination of offences such as following too closely, speeding, unsafe lane changes, failing to signal intent to change lanes, and other forms of negligent or inconsiderate driving.

Road rage, on the other hand, is a criminal offence. This occurs when a traffic incident escalates into a far more serious situation. For example, a person may become so angry over an aggressive driving incident that he or she overreacts and retaliates with some type of violence.

Source: driverstorymagazine.com

New Zealand

  • A recent survey by consumer research company Canstar Blue revealed Kiwis don’t always mind their manners on the road, with over a third having experienced a road rage incident.
  • While 39% of New Zealanders overall had been caught up in driver anger, It was more likely to be men (42%) compared with women at just 33%.

Australia

  • Road rage is even more commonplace over the ditch, where 42% have experienced a road rage incident and 65% of Australians frequently get frustrated by other road users.
  • Back in 2011, insurance provider GIO surveyed 3740 Australian motorists with 85% claiming drivers were more aggressive than ever before.
  • In a survey of 3000 drivers from 20 countries, conducted by LeasePlan UK in 2014, of which 52% of Australian drivers said they’d received aggressive gestures, 34% had been verbally abused and 40% had been blocked in the road.
  • Also last year’s survey of 1700 Australian motorists by law firm Slater & Gordon, revealed that 16% of Australians have a dash cam to record incidents of road rage, with a further 41% of drivers saying they wanted one.

USA

  • Statista inc (an online statistics portal) recorded the following for road rage behavior among drivers in the united states as of April 2015
  • According to the survey 53 percent of the respondents said they had been on the receiving end of a rude gesture from another driver. 26%  yelled at and used profanity at another driver, 17% made a rude gesture, 13% felt threatened by another driver and 4% exited their vehicle to engage angrily with another motorist

China  

  • With continued rapid economic growth, government statistics show a 20% jump in private car ownership in 2014 — to 105 million cars nationwide.
  • The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 200,000 people die on the roads of China every year.
  • From the beginning of 2012 to the end of April this year, police in China linked 104 million traffic violations to some form of road rage, ranging from forcibly changing lanes or overtaking other vehicles, to failing to yield.

United Kingdom

  • Carwow’s 2014 road rage survey has revealed that the vast majority of UK road users have been victims of road rage.
  • 1,000 UK drivers at the end of 2014 were asked whether they’ve been on the giving or receiving end of road rage, what forms of road rage they’ve experienced/given as well as how often.
  • The results show that an astonishing 81% of people have been victims of road rage. Of these, 54% have been shouted at and 42% have been verbally abused, whereas 48% have had people drive aggressively at them as a result of road rage.
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Source: 2014 LeasePlan Research Survey

7 ways to avoid road rage

  1. Move over if someone is tailgating you
  2. Use an ‘I’m Sorry” gesture (e.g. wave) to attempt to defuse the situation
  3. Plan ahead; allow time for delays during your journey
  4. Consider whether you have done something to annoy the driver and adjust your driving accordingly
  5. Listen to music you enjoy
  6. Use your horn sparingly
  7. Avoid eye contact with angry drivers and give them plenty of room.

It also always pays to be mindful who’s sitting behind the wheel:

Sources:

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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