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Shocking road rage stats should really shame us

IT'S official... we are a bunch of foul-mouthed nutters who lose it at the drop of a hat -- especially behind the wheel.

Yes according to a shocking new survey almost 40pc of Irish drivers admit to shouting or getting angry on a weekly basis -- with a very aggressive 11.5pc admitting to daily bouts of road rage.

These worrying stats are the findings of a recent study carried out among Irish drivers, which also revealed around 13pc of motorists have jumped out of their car to confront another driver.

The Continental Tyres report also found that nearly one in three road users 'expect' to experience aggressive or intimidating driving whilst out in the car.

Getting a blast of the horn from another driver is the most common form of aggression, followed by offensive hand gestures and being 'tailgated'.

As to the road users who annoy drivers the most, learners topped the list (52.7pc), followed by older or slower drivers (45.5pc) and boy racers (43.6pc).

Dr Mark Sullman, expert in driver behaviour at Cranfield University said: "When driving, we are prevented from using the normal cues to work out people's intentions, such as facial expression and body language, so we are more likely to misunderstand their behaviour and interpret it in a negative way.

AGGRESSIVE

"For instance if you bump into someone on foot, a quick smile or 'oops' is all that is needed to show it was accidental. However, when in the car, with the absence of these cues, people are much more likely to react in an aggressive manner than in other 'public' situations."

Dr Sullman advises: "You can choose not to let it rile you and instead deal with the situation in a positive way, such as concentrating on driving safely yourself or realising that everyone makes mistakes."

Paddy Murphy from Continental added: "Avoiding the stop-start of harsh braking and acceleration associated with aggressive driving saves energy and improves the flow of traffic, which in turn should make motorists happier."

It's time we got back to basics -- good old fashioned manners.

q Meanwhile on a cheerier note, the new Ford B-MAX, featuring a unique design and all new small car technology among the most advanced in Europe, has arrived in Ireland. With a maximum 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the B-MAX has no B pillars in the centre giving you unprecedented access to both front and rear When both front and rear doors are open there is more than 1.5 metres of wriggle room, making it significantly easier to enter or exit the rear seats, attend to children in child seats, or load and unload shopping.

The mini MPV also comes with Ford's acclaimed SYNC system -- an advanced voice system that controls phones, music systems and other functions like sat nav and even activate a 999 call. Prices start at €21,600


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