It’s not something to brag about, but Australians are considered to be one of the angriest drivers on the road.
How many Aussies actually experience road rage, and who is most affected? What are some of the most disastrous consequences of road rage?
Read through this article to get the answers and learn some shocking road rage statistics.
Alarming Facts and Stats about Road Rage in Australia
- 73% of Aussies had experienced road rage.
- Tailgating is the most common form of Aussie road rage.
- Just 30% of Australian drivers have a strategy in place to manage their road rage.
- 38% of men experienced aggressive behaviour while driving compared to 33% of women.
- Western Australians appear to be the calmest drivers.
- Aggressive behaviour is seen as the third most common cause of road accidents.
- 96% of motorists involved in a car accident said they experienced aggressive behaviour on roads.
General Australian Road Rage Statistics
1 . 73% of Aussies had experienced road rage.
(Drive) (Zenger News)
Road rage, defined as aggressive or angry behaviour exhibited by drivers, is becoming more common among Australians. Based on data from a 2020 survey, as many as 73% said they had been victims of road rage.
Outbursts on the road are even more prevalent in New South Wales, where 71% of people had experienced road rage, while 79% of interviewees had witnessed a road rage incident involving other drivers.
2. Almost half of Aussies engaged in verbally abusive behaviour towards another road user.
An alarmingly high number (40.3%) of respondents in Budget Direct’s survey stated they shouted, cursed or made rude gestures towards another driver. 3.4% admitted to deliberately hurting or threatening to hurt another road user, while another 3.4% said they intentionally damaged or attempted to damage the vehicle the other driver was in.
Encouragingly, 55.2% said they had not been involved in aggressive behaviour on Aussie roads.
3. There has been an 8% increase in the number of people who have experienced verbal abuse on the road.
73% of drivers have had another driver shout, curse or make rude gestures at them in 2021, or 8% higher than the 65% of respondents who experienced this kind of behaviour in the previous year.
Luckily the number of motorists who intentionally hurt or threatened to hurt drivers reduced from 12% in 2020 to just 3% in 2021, as did the number of Aussies who deliberately hurt or tried to damage another person’s vehicle—also going down from 12% to 3%.
4. Tailgating is the most common form of Aussie road rage.
According to data from a 2020 survey, as many as 49% of Australians had experienced tailgating, making it the most common type of road rage. Other forms of behind-the-wheel aggression include excessive honking and verbal insults, with 42% and 32% of drivers experiencing this. At the same time, another third of respondents said they had been cut off by another motorist.
These road rage statistics are quite concerning, particularly regarding tailgating as car insurers in Australia point to nose-to-tail collisions as one of the biggest causes of accident claims in the country.
5. The majority of motorists cite potentially dangerous driving as the main trigger for road rage.
Potentially dangerous behaviour by other drivers, such as being cut off or forced to break unexpectedly, enraged as many as 78.1% of respondents in a 2021 survey. Another 56.8% cited direct aggression (shouting, rude gestures, swearing), and 51.5% pointed to rudeness or discourtesy from other road users (failing to indicate, not giving a “thank you” wave) as the most common cause for losing their temper while driving.
6. 10% of 18 to 24-year-old drivers have lashed out at a cyclist.
It’s not just motorists who are on the receiving end of someone’s aggression. 3.4% of drivers have acted aggressively towards cyclists, with male drivers being more likely to express their anger towards cyclists (5.2% compared to just 1.6% of female drivers).
7. Just 30% of Australian drivers have a strategy in place to manage their road rage.
(Budget Direct) (AFS Direct)
That leaves 69.7% of motorists without a calming strategy, making them more likely to hold onto their anger and become even more prone to outbursts as they continue driving. On a more positive note, 43% of road users said that they would change their travel time or route, whereas 20% had already changed their usual schedule to avoid road rage incidents.
Who Is Most Likely to Be Involved in Road Rage?
8. 38% of men experienced aggressive behaviour while driving compared to 33% of women.
In terms of age, Aussie road rage statistics reveal it’s the youngest drivers that are most likely to be involved in a road rage incident (both as victims and offenders), with 42.25% of respondents aged 18 to 24 admitting to this.
9. Western Australians appear to be the calmest drivers.
34.6% of drivers from this state said they had never experienced road rage, and 38.5% had not behaved aggressively towards another road user. On the other end of the spectrum, 78.2% of drivers in NSW had been verbally abused by other road users, whereas 5.9% admitted to damaging or attempting to damage the other driver’s car—the highest figures of all the states.
10. 40.7% of Aussies believe that a certain car make or model makes a driver act more aggressively.
Australian drivers seem to be most biased towards Holden drivers—almost 44% of respondents in Budget Direct’s 2021 survey see drivers of this Australian car as the most aggressive drivers. BMW owners also rank high on the list as 39.8% of road users consider them to be more aggressive. The same goes for Ford (31.2%), Mercedes Benz (28.99%), Audi (26.4%), and Australia’s most popular car brand Toyota (15.87%).
11. 3.5% of male drivers would act even more aggressively if they had another passenger in the car with them.
Surprisingly, the presence of another passenger in the car doesn’t seem to phase drivers—70.5% of respondents stated that they would act the same even if there were someone else in the vehicle. 2.5%, on the other hand, admitted that they would act even more aggressively, while 27% would tone down the aggression if they were travelling with another person in the car.
Road Rage and Car Accidents
12. Aggressive behaviour is seen as the third most common cause of road accidents.
After speeding and distracted driving, aggressive driving was voted as the third most likely cause of car accidents. In terms of other causes, road rage is followed by drunk driving, fatigued driving and other driving behaviour factors, such as failing to give way and going through red lights.
13. 96% of motorists involved in a car accident said they experienced aggressive behaviour on roads.
The same 2019 research also found that aggressive drivers were more likely to make other bad driving choices, such as speeding, using a mobile phone while driving and driving while intoxicated.
Before You Drive Away
Whether it’s tailgating or verbally abusive behaviour, road rage statistics show that aggressive driving is becoming a real threat on Australia’s roads. Luckily, there are some solutions one can try to employ to reduce this risk, from breathing exercises to listening to music.
So, the next time something on the road gets your blood boiling, make sure to count to ten, breathe and carry on driving.