Although most people wouldn’t admit to dishing out their share of ‘road rage’ at some point, a new report has found that a whopping 73 per cent of Australian drivers have fallen victim to aggressive behaviours on the roads.
With tensions running high, particularly during holiday season, online comparison site Finder has explored the most common antisocial behaviours from drivers around the country. After surveying more than 1,000 people, they found that almost half had been tailgated at some point in the past 10 years, making this the most common road rage behaviour.
Coming in second place was the 42 per cent of respondents who said another driver had blasted their horn at them. Meanwhile, around one in three drivers said they’d been subjected to verbal abuse, with the same amount saying they’d been purposefully cut-off by another driver.
According to the research, males were more likely to encounter road rage, with 77 per cent saying they’d experienced it compared with just 68 per cent of females. And when broken down by state, Queenslanders could officially be crowned the crankiest on the roads, with more than three quarters of drivers experiencing aggression from others on the road.
Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder, warned that with so many Australians taking to the roads these holidays to visit loved ones, or make up for a lost overseas holiday, it’s more important than ever that drivers keep their cool.
“Millions of Aussies are taking to the roads to visit loved ones over the summer, but a concerning number of drivers are seeing red,” he said. “Road rage and aggressive driving is a major contributing factor 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. 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.”
According to the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE), there were a whopping 196 national road fatalities in the short period between December 2019 and January 2020. And although the figure is still worryingly high, it’s a slight decrease from the year before, in which the 2018-19 December to January period saw a total of 216 fatalities.
In addition to the physical danger it poses, road rage could also risk insurance coverage, with Blackburn saying that claims were likely to be rejected if drivers got into an incident at the hands of their own aggressive driving.
“Many insurers won’t cover you if you fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent damage or liability occurring,” he said. “This means that 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.
“Outside of a voided insurance policy, you may also face criminal charges for negligent or reckless driving. The consequences of road rage can be dangerous and expensive – it’s much more important to get to your destination unharmed. With many drivers taking to the roads over the new year, now is also a good time to review your current insurance policy and make sure you have adequate cover.”
Other surprising factors that could void car insurance include: motorsports or reckless driving, renting a car to a friend, and driving for a ride-share company and having damaged tyres that don’t meet the minimum requirement.
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