Discourtesy increases risk of crash and road rage
VANCOUVER, June 28, 2011 /CNW/ - With more traffic, construction-related delays, and cyclists and
pedestrians on our roads than ever, how are B.C. drivers coping?
According to a recent Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of ICBC,
driver courtesy is taking a hit, which can put all road users in danger
and increase the risk of road rage.
Half of drivers surveyed said that drivers in their community are less
courteous on the road than they were five years ago. When asked which
signs of driver discourtesy they've experienced most in the last three
months by other drivers, signalling late or not at all was number one
(82 per cent), followed by tailgating (73 per cent), being prevented
from merging (63 per cent), getting cut off (48 per cent) and getting
honked at in anger (26 per cent).
Meanwhile, 40 per cent of those surveyed believe that they have not been
discourteous to other drivers in the last three months. 25 per cent of
respondents admitted that they've honked out of anger and 17 per cent
admitted to signalling too late or not at all.
"There's a clear disconnect between how drivers perceive their own
driving behaviours and the reality of their driving," said John Vavrik,
a psychologist at ICBC.
According to Vavrik, numerous studies have shown that driver discourtesy
can be one of the major causes of road rage, and because discourtesy
can trigger some very heated emotions, it can impair a driver's ability
to concentrate, react and make smart driving decisions putting them at
increased risk of crashing.
"Aggressive or careless driving such as cutting off other drivers,
speeding, tailgating, talking on cell phones and not using proper
signals is almost always what incites road rage" said Vavrik. "While
road delays play a part in adding to driving stress, it's the behaviour
of other drivers that leads to the greatest frustration."
"Driving smart is about making smart decisions and shifting our
attitudes toward driving. Our own driving behaviour plays a part in the
safety of our roads for everyone," said Fiona Temple, ICBC's director
of road safety. "The majority of survey respondents believe that
courtesy is contagious, so the next time a driver lets you merge in
front of them, give them a wave - they may just pay it forward to
another driver later down the road."
The online survey polled 899 adult B.C. drivers (aged 18 or older) who
drive one or more hours per week. For full survey results, visit: http://ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5274
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Media contacts: Adam Grossman, 604-982-1332