Road rage increasing

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With the well publicized road rage that took place near the Suvarnabhumi airport, in which a pilot was shot, does this mean that we will see the same and more from now on? Unfortunately, I believe so, having encountered aggressive driving in Pattaya on more than one occasion, with tailgating and flashing headlights.

Mind you, we are yet to get to the rage stage shown in the UK. In a national survey:

* Nearly 1 in 3 have been the victim of a road rage incident
* 50 percent are scared about driving on Britain’s roads because of other drivers
* Three quarters feel angry or stressed because of the way others drive
* Three quarters believe that the penalties for dangerous driving should be harsher

caption Road rage caption Road rage

The survey, for leading car hire comparator Carrentals.co.uk, questioned people across the UK about their experiences on the roads, with three quarters saying they get angry or stressed because of the hazardous way other people drive.

No wonder, when the survey found that 92 percent have seen drivers speeding in a 50 km an hour zone; 80 percent have seen cars weaving around motorway traffic to get ahead; and 77 percent have seen drivers tailgating another vehicle at speed (over 110 km/hr).

Add to this the fact that 50 percent have seen someone drive up a one-way street the wrong way; and 17 percent have seen a driver reverse on a motorway, and the potential for tragic accidents is high.

Road rage incidents reported in the survey ranged from attacks on vehicles and verbal intimidation, to being pursued by another vehicle, being forced off the road, and physical violence, with some respondents punched, kicked and bullied.

Beyond aggression, the survey found that many drivers are still easily distracted. 93 percent of those questioned said they had seen drivers talking on a mobile phone, despite the known risks, while other distractions included drinking coffee; eating food; watching attractive women or men walking past; applying make up; messing with a sat nav or radio; and dealing with children arguing.

Three quarters of respondents believe that the penalties for dangerous driving should be much harsher to encourage more responsibility behind the wheel.

“It seems that despite all of the campaigns for safe driving, some people continue to put their own, and other people’s, lives in danger through their actions on the roads,” adds Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk. “It’s unbelievable to think that drivers would even contemplate reversing up the motorway or attacking someone, but they don’t seem to consider the potentially tragic consequences of their actions.

The sad part is all those examples of dangerous driving also happen here.

Post script – I have just visited a chap in hospital here, having been run off the road on his step-through in a road rage episode. He received a broken leg. It could have been worse. All very sad for Thailand, I am afraid.