Research reveals Manchester is the road rage capital of the UK

Monday 12th October 2020



Many of us have found ourselves getting frustrated whilst driving, so we recently conducted research to find out more about road rage in the UK.

For those of you who are regularly on the roads, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that a shocking 60% of UK drivers said that they have been on the receiving end of another driver’s anger.

Whether that comes in the form of horn honking, rude hand gestures, or angry shouting, it’s never a pleasant experience, so read ahead to find out the biggest causes of road rage (so that you can avoid them!) and also to see which age ranges and regions are guilty of the most anger on the roads.

What causes anger on the roads?

Delving into the country’s biggest annoyances on the road, dangerous driving was the top cause of road rage, with 49% of UK drivers saying this made them angry.

Not far behind was tailgating (45%), a lack of indicating (45%), and cutting in (40%).

Cyclists and motorbikes made it into the top 5 causes of road rage, with 38% of UK drivers admitting that they are a top cause.

Top causes of road rage:

1. Dangerous driving

2. Tailgating

3. Not indicating

4. Cutting in

5. Cyclists & motorbikes

6. Undertaking

7. Slow drivers

8. Sharp braking

9. General traffic

10. Bad parking

11. Buses

12. Slow setting off at lights

13. Loud music

14. Pedestrians

15. Hot weather

49%

45%

45%

40%

38%

30%

28%

27%

26%

21%

20%

17%

16%

15%

11%

It’s no surprise that dangerous driving, tailgating and a lack of indication are the nation’s top annoyances whilst behind the wheel; not only do they show a lack of care and attention, but they can also lead to accidents and injuries.

Other causes that respondents mentioned were a lack of road signs, being overtaken when driving the speed limit, and not being thanked for giving way.

Younger drivers worst for road rage

Another shocking statistic that our research revealed is that an average of 23% of UK drivers aged 18-34 experience road rage every day, and an average of 50% experience it every week.

This is double that of more experienced drivers, with an average of just 11% of those aged 55+ saying they experience daily road rage and an average of just 27% experiencing it every week.

Drivers experiencing daily road rage:

1. Manchester

2. Birmingham

3. Bristol

4. Sheffield

5. Newcastle

6. London

7. Belfast

8. Southampton

9. Cardiff

10. Leeds

11. Liverpool

12. Norwich

13. Glasgow

14. Nottingham

15. Edinburgh

31%

27%

25%

23%

22%

18%

15%

14%

13%

13%

11%

10%

10%

8%

7%

We saw a very clear decline in the percentage of drivers who experienced daily road rage as they get older.

This could be due to experience and maturity on the road, and could also be down to the reasons that the drivers are on their journeys, as those who are retired and travelling for pleasure may find it easier to stay calm than those travelling on a commute.

Angriest cities revealed

When we broke our results down into regions, it was clear that some cities are much guiltier of angry driving than others.

Manchester came top of the list of road rage cities, with a significant 31% of drivers saying that they experience road rage at least once per day. Not far behind was Birmingham, with 27% of drivers experiencing daily road rage.

Surprisingly, London didn’t make it into the top 5 road rage cities - Newcastle just beat them to it with 22% of drivers saying they experience anger on the roads at least once per day.

Drivers experiencing daily road rage:

1. 18 - 24

2. 25 - 34

3. 35 - 44

6. 45 - 54

7. 55 - 64

8. 65+

24%

22%

21%

15%

11%

11%

Edinburgh, Nottingham and Glasgow were revealed as the calmest cities for drivers. This could be attributed to their road signs, or just a friendlier population! Whatever the reason, driving through these cities could be a lot more relaxing than driving through Manchester, Birmingham or Bristol.

Worst driving situations

Not only can the experience of a driver and the city that they’re driving in affect the likelihood of aggression, but also the situation that they are driving in.

We asked our respondents to tell us what driving situations cause them the most stress, and by far city driving was the biggest cause of road rage, with 69% of UK drivers saying that this situation causes road rage.

Worst driving situations

1. City driving

2. Motorway driving

3. Country lanes

6. Parking

69%

33%

24%

5%

Keeping calm on the road

Staying calm on the road is key to a safe and enjoyable drive. If you do feel frustrations at the actions of others, pull over (as long as it’s safe to do so) and wait until you feel calm to begin driving again. This will make the drive much more enjoyable for you.

We’re only human and emotions are natural, however if you feel you’re becoming angry whilst driving, try these steps:

  • Try not to drive unless you’re in a good frame of mind.

    Setting off when you’re upset or distracted will increase the likelihood of you experiencing road rage.

  • Plan for delays.

    Give yourself extra time for your journey, so that you’re less likely to be annoyed by slow traffic.

  • Don’t over-react to someone else’s bad or dangerous driving.

    This can be extremely difficult, but it’s important to focus on your own driving, rather than others.

  • Refrain from unnecessary gestures

    Flashing your lights, honking your horn and other aggressive actions can not only aggravate yourself, but other drivers.

  • Deep breathing is a great technique to control your frustrations.

    Pull over somewhere safe and calm yourself down with breathing techniques (such as Box Breathing) until you feel your frustrations ease off.

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