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More than 40 per cent of Australian drivers are unrepentant about road rage

A recent study from a leading car insurance firm has shown that, despite their complaints,  many Australians are unrepentant about committing acts of road rage.

The sixteenth iteration of AAMI's national Crash Index has investigated the phenomenon where otherwise reasonable individuals experience massive bouts of inescapable anger due to interactions with other motorists.

It shows that 50 per cent of drivers covered by the survey have hurled verbal abuse at fellow road users in the past.

Of these, 82 per cent felt that their actions were "justified" due to the actions of their target.

Approximately 38 per cent of people interviewed said that they had indulged in a "crude gesture" directed at another driver – with a similar percentage feeling that the action was warranted.

Perhaps most worryingly in the report, 66 per cent of participants indicated that they had – on at least one occasion – become so enraged with the behaviour of a fellow motorists that they began to deliberately tailgate them.

The survey forms part of a three-year investigation into the perplexing issues of road rage – with more than 3,000 drivers aged over 18 interviewed.

Now in its second year, the study is seeking to determine what the triggers are for the majority of motorists and is looking to find ways to reduce the impact on Australian roads.

According to the manager of corporate affairs at AAMI Reuben Aitchison, there is a certain understandable dynamic at play.

Aitchison asserted: "When you cut someone off, it's because you're in a hurry – when someone cuts you off, it's because they’re a jerk. Or worse.

"There's this odd disconnect on our roads, in that if you ask people how they should respond to rude or aggressive driving behaviours, the vast majority (87 per cent) say you should ignore the other driver or signal an apology. But when push comes to shove, we let rip."

In addition to this unusual shift in behaviour, Aitchison explained that there was a common element of elevated aggravation causing an escalation in bad driving behaviour.

"It might start out with flipping them the bird or loudly questioning their parentage, but this can lead to far more serious consequences, with ten per cent of those we surveyed being forced off the road and two per cent being physically assaulted."

In cases where physical harm is caused due to a crash, car accident compensation can help to provide the necessary funds to cover medical treatments.

NSW drivers can contact a car accident lawyer to explore their options before committing to a legal course of action.

© 2012 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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