Australians have lifted the lid on what stresses them out while driving, with almost all the drivers surveyed across the nation (99%) saying they have experienced unsafe and potentially life-threatening behaviour on our roads.

 

According to a survey commissioned by the online general insurer, The Buzz Insurance, at least 50% of us experience stress while behind the wheel due to road rage, offensive gestures and general impatience from other motorists.

 

The Driver Stress Study found the most commonly experienced bad behaviours are:

 

•         other drivers changing lanes without indicating (experience by 97% of drivers)
•         drivers tailgating them (experienced by 96% of drivers)
•         people talking on mobiles/listening to an iPod (experienced by 96%)
•         drivers ‘cutting in’ on lanes (95%)
•         motorists holding up traffic by driving too slow (95%).

 

Impatience is also rife on our roads. Of those surveyed, 88% had seen drivers queue jumping, 87% had spotted motorists running a red light, and the majority (91%) had witnessed pedestrians crossing the road in a dangerous manner.

 

The national survey was conducted online recently by Newspoll and surveyed 1,101 Australian drivers aged 18-64 years about what stresses them out while driving.

 

CEO of The Buzz, Jacki Johnson says the study shows that Australians are really ‘acting up’ on the roads. It also shows that the behaviour is causing a lot of stress to drivers.

 

“The study shows there’s a lot of bad behaviour on our roads. Whether it’s dangerous or impatient behaviour, it’s putting the safety of Australians in jeopardy,” she said.

 

“The aim of the study is to understand exactly what people are doing that causes stress to other drivers on the road so we can all do something to prevent it.”

 

“Driving is a skill, not a right. There’s a lot of inexperienced drivers, families and elderly people on our roads and we need to modify our driving behaviour to ensure we are not placing any undue stress on drivers,” Ms Johnson said.

 

The study shows younger drivers suffer stress more often that older drivers with 60% of respondents aged 18-34 feeling tense compared to 38% of drivers aged 50-64. Capital city dwellers are more likely to get nervous on the roads compared to drivers from other parts of the country – 58% and 41% respectively.

 

When it comes to road manners, the majority of people believe it’s gone out the window! 78% of us have been sworn at or endured offensive gestures from other drivers, with women and older drivers slightly more likely to have experienced this.

 

The majority say they’re sometimes not acknowledged when they do something nice like letting others into their lane (experienced by 89% of drivers), or other drivers don’t apologise when they’ve made a driving error (experienced by 91%).

 

The Buzz Driver Stress Study aims to highlight the risks associated with dangerous driving and offer practical solutions to help combat stress, making our roads safer as a result..

 

Ms Johnson said there are ways to combat stress on the road.

 

For example, calming ourselves before we get behind the wheel, leaving five minutes early to avoid feeling rushed, looking up the directions before we get on the road, and turning our mobile phone on silent to avoid distractions.