Forget road rage – good manners on the road can improve the journey for everyone

From screeching horns and angry hand gestures to sighing, shouting, expletives – and this isn’t even the scene of a snarl-up. According to figures from our recent AXA car insurance survey, this could be just an ordinary drive on the roads of many British cities!

1 June 2011

Posted in Product

Aberdeen, Belfast, Glasgow, Wolverhampton and Chelmsford are the placed that have fared the worst out of 30 UK cities in our research on respectful towns. 91% of Aberdonians say they have experienced disrespectful driving in the city - which includes talking on the phone behind the wheel, cutting in front of others and making offensive hand gestures.

This sort of driving can of course be frustrating. But it's likely that expressing your feelings with ‘The Fist Shake’ (also known as ‘the Grrrr’) will simply result in more shouting, swearing and horn-beeping from fellow drivers. Half of the people who had come across disrespectful car users in Aberdeen said they had been in an accident because of it. So it's wise not to encourage anger behind the wheel, which can lead to dangerous driving.

Wouldn't it be nice to introduce a friendlier attitude on the roads? We found that there are polite drivers out there - 93% of car users in Cambridge show respect for those in need of a designated car parking space and few (2%) feel the need to make offensive hand gestures at others. Have you ever been on the receiving end of ‘the after you’ gesture when faced with the stress of a busy junction? You probably responded with ‘The Thank You Kindly’ and drove off in a better mood.

So, next time you feel angry on the road forget ‘the Grrrrrr’, hold back on the horn and find the opportunity to give someone ‘The Thumbs Up’. Because getting angry during a traffic jam isn't going to get a line of cars moving - but a friendly wave could lift your spirits.