Guest post by Greg Perry
London is by far the biggest city by population and area in the UK and this brings its own challenges. Over 9 million people inhabit the metropolis across its 32 boroughs and that population is only expected to grow in future years.
One of the major challenges of being such a densely populated city is road traffic. An ever-increasing population and number of cars, coupled with limited space to expand means that congestion is much greater than in less urbanised regions of the UK. Consequently, driving conditions are more treacherous with frustrated drivers trying to get where they need to be on time.
To see where London ranked in terms of road rage in comparison to the rest of the UK, Tyre Shopper conducted some research to give us the answers.
Do London’s drivers rage the most?
Despite London being the most densely populated city in the UK, Tyre Shopper’s research suggested that London doesn’t witness the most road rage in the country. Just over 25% of drivers stated that someone else’s road rage made them scared to drive. While London is still one of higher regions on the list, cities like Birmingham, Norwich and Belfast appear to be worse places to drive. Birmingham topped the list with 34% of drivers saying they had felt scared after a road rage incident. So, if you’re ever driving through the West Midlands, be cautious.
What are the most common incidents?
Road rage can be quite an ambiguous phrase. However, Tyre Shopper found the most common road rage incidents were rude or threatening gestures. Over 70% of drivers revealed they had been the subject of distasteful hand gestures from other motorists on UK roads. These were followed closely by horn honking and verbal abuse which around 60% of drivers have been targeted with.
Other, slightly more alarming incidents included 25% of drivers saying they had been followed by a motorist and just over 10% being approached by another driver outside of their vehicle. The most common aggressors were car drivers, from which 80% of motorists have seen road rage. Second to that, 50% of drivers stated that they had been the subject of road rage from a van driver.
Why do people road rage?
It is often unexplained why the usually tranquil and reasoned among us turn into such raging drivers behind the wheel. Some theories suggest that our fundamental fight or flight response is triggered when people are confronted with a stressful or agitating scenario in the driving seat. Fighting is the common response because fleeing isn’t usually a viable option on congested roads.
Other theories say that road rage incidents can be largely assigned to already angry, agitated and rushing drivers. If this is the case, if everyone ensures they get a good night’s sleep and leave plenty of time for their journey, then road rage incidents should decrease substantially.