Australia’s big road rage problem

Road rage is a major problem for drivers – and children are often impacted by the terrifying incidents, a new study has found.

Most drivers have experienced road rage in the last year, a new study has found.

The NRMA surveyed more than 2000 members in NSW and the ACT and found 70 per cent had felt road rage over the past 12 months.

One in four people said children had been present during the incident.

An even higher percentage (79 per cent) said they had witnessed the behaviour in other drivers.

Road rage was defined by those responding as physically assaulting another driver, getting out of a vehicle to confront another driver, tailgating and yelling.

“It’s consistently a serious issue,” NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said.

“The numbers are stubbornly high and unfortunately have not gone down since last time we did a similar survey.”

In Sydney, the proportion of people who said they had witnessed road rage incidents was higher than the rest of the state at 82 per cent.

The motorists’ association warned that it was easier than ever to get caught for abusive behaviour on the road because dashboard cameras and smartphones were becoming more prevalent.

“Every bystander with a smartphone is now a recording witness – every dashcam an extension of the law,” Mr Khoury said.

“You are now more chance of getting caught and charged and your embarrassing behaviour featuring extensively on the news and across social media.”

The NRMA asked its members what good behaviour on the road meant to them.

Almost all said they appreciated when other drivers indicated before merging or changing lanes and weren’t using their phones.

More than 90 per cent said they wanted drivers to keep a three-second gap from the car in front, and 86 per cent said they wanted drivers to use their blinkers when parking.

Another way to make other drivers happy is to avoid idling in an intersection so that the road is kept clear for other cars to cross or turn.

“While it is difficult to track whether or not road rage is becoming more prevalent, what is without doubt is the stark reality that getting caught is now easier than ever, which is all the more reason for drivers to not overreact behind the wheel,” Mr Khoury said.

“It often starts as something innocuous but can easily spiral out of control.”

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