New research into road rage behaviours has found that while a vast majority of us believe we aren’t aggressive on the road, almost two-thirds of drivers still report being the victim of road rage.
The independent survey conducted by car insurer Budget Direct suggests that 80 per cent of us don’t think we exhibit road rage, yet 65 per cent of respondents claimed to be the victim of verbal assault or rude gestures.
Furthermore, in the past 12 months, more than one in five people reported someone intentionally damaging or attempting to damage their vehicle and 23 per cent reported someone threatening to physically assault them.
It’s not all between drivers, either – more than one third (36 per cent) of motorists report cyclists showing aggression towards them and on the other hand, just over two in five (22 per cent) motorists report levelling abuse at a cyclist.
On the back of these findings, Budget Direct partnered with the National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) along with Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) to form a campaign around changing negative driving behaviours.
How to cure road rage
The new ‘Travel Time. Your Time’ campaign focuses on mindfulness – that is, to be aware of one’s own emotions and behaviours in the moment – and not letting the actions of other people influence their emotions.
MUARC aggressive driving expert, Dr Amanda Stephens, encourages drivers to think positively about their time behind the wheel.
“How you feel is how you drive, so a negative mood will translate into poor driving practice,” Stephens said.
Drivers are being urged to practice interventions that promote less hostile thought processes and to choose to accept a given situation rather than react instinctively.
“Most drivers see others as the problem, so it’s really important to focus on our own mental wellbeing during our travel time and commit ourselves to a positive driving experience.”
With greater travel restrictions on the verge of being eased, drivers are will become reacquainted with road congestion and heavy traffic, which could negatively impact motorists’ mood levels.
Take it easy out there; there’s no use in making a mountain out of a molehill.