Next time you cut someone up in traffic, be warned: there’s every possibility that person might hop out of their car and stomp your head in.
According to a survey by Continental Tyres, one in four motorists have stepped out of their vehicle to confront another driver following an altercation. That’s upwards of five million motorists prepared to at least look as if they’re ready to throw hands.
The survey, carried out among 2,000 drivers, revealed most motorists are prepared for trouble when they hop behind the wheel. On in three drivers ‘expect’ to experience aggressive or intimidating drivers whilst in the car and seven out of ten believe they themselves are more aggressive when behind the wheel.
According to the survey, the most common triggers of road rage are people using the horn, tailgating, and having someone brake suddenly in front of you. These are followed by being undertaken, being flashed to get out of the way and having hand gestures directed at you.
Of those on the receiving end of road rage, 40 per cent feel angry, 28 per cent feel shaken and nearly one in four feel like lashing out.
Dr. Mark Sullman, an expert in driver behaviour at Cranfield University commented: “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.”
“For instance, if you bump into someone on foot, a quick smile or ‘oops’ is all that is needed to show it was a accidental. However, when in the car, with the absence of cues, people are much more likely to react in an aggressive manner than in other ‘public’ situations.”
Dr. Sullman says the best way of dealing with aggression is to ‘not let it rile you’. Easier said than done, doc. If you get in our way on the road, a bird will be flipping its way in your general direction.