Shropshire Star

Majority of drivers feel intimidated by other road users – survey

Some 79 per cent feel concerned by other drivers when out and about.

Last updated
Autumn weather November 2nd 2023

Close to four-fifths of motorists feel intimidated by other road users when they’re behind the wheel, a new survey has found.

Some 89 per cent of new drivers or learners aged between 17 and 24 also feel intimidated by other motorists when they’re out on the road, with half of those surveyed being left feeling annoyed after these ‘unwelcome emotions’.

More than half of the 1,287 people questioned by Aviva said that tailgating was the main cause of this intimidation, followed by being overtaken at high speeds and undertaken on the side. An additional one in five also said that ‘rude gestures’ and honking aggressively were key intimidating behaviours.

Tailgating – which involves driving too close to the vehicle in front – can fall under the remit of the ‘careless driving’ offence, which could bring a fine or penalty points. However, despite this, 30 per cent of those surveyed said that they were unsure about these rules or didn’t believe that drivers could get fined for undertaking.

Martin Smith, motor claims manager at Aviva, said: “Tailgating is dangerous, intimidating and can cause accidents, especially during periods of wet weather and icy conditions. By keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front, it enables you to have enough time to stop if necessary and prevent a potential collision.

“It’s equally important to consider the manner in which you use your headlights and horn. Though a useful way to warn other road users of your presence, using either too aggressively can be viewed as an ‘intimidating behaviour’ and could potentially land you with a fine, points on your licence and in some instances, a driving ban.

In addition, 62 per cent of respondents admitted to performing intimidating behaviour themselves. One in six said that they flashed their headlights at other road users which, when done unnecessarily, is against the Highway Code.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.