The roads are getting heated this summer.
Aussie drivers are copping abuse on a shocking scale according to new research from comparison website Finder.com.au.
The site surveyed about 1000 local drivers and more than 70 per cent said they had been a victim of road rage.
The data showed the most common form of aggression behind the wheel was tailgating, with about half of all respondents falling victim to this behaviour.
Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder, urged drivers to keep their cool this summer, claiming that road rage and aggressive driving was a major contributor to car accidents.
“It’s normal to get annoyed behind the wheel from time to time, especially if another driver’s actions are frustrating, inconsiderate or downright dangerous,” Blackburn said.
“But you should never threaten or intimidate another driver — doing so can make the situation much worse, and puts other drivers and passengers at risk.”
Tailgating especially can result in a collision because the faster you are going the longer it takes to stop and the quicker your reaction has to be.
The NSW Centre for Road Safety says that when travelling 60km/h it takes 56 metres to stop compared to just 37m at 50km/h.
This data shows that drivers need to keep a safe distance from the car in front to help avoid a serious accident.
The next most common form of road rage was blasting the horn, which was experienced by four out of 10 drivers.
This was followed by verbal abuse and being cut off by another driver — both experienced by a third of drivers.
According to the research Queensland was the angriest state — 77 per cent have experienced road rage. South Australia has the calmest drivers, as only 68 per cent of drivers have felt the wrath of other motorists.
Men were more likely than females to cop abuse when driving.
And in bad news for those seeing red on the road, they may also face a big hit to the hip pocket.
“If you’re tailgating another car and have a rear-end collision, or deliberately cut another driver off and they crash into you, you may need to foot the repair costs yourself,” he said.
Monash University Accident Research Centre driving expert, Dr Amanda Stephens, believes a person’s mood has a lot to do with the way they drive. We often take out our negative energy on others. And she urges drivers to take part in the “Travel Time. Your Time” campaign which asks motorists to remain calm on the roads.
“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,” she said.