Road rage crashes increasing
Sun, 29 Jul 2012 6:28p.m.
By Susie Nordqvist
The number of crashes caused by angry and emotional drivers has almost doubled in a decade.
Younger drivers, and men, are mostly to blame, and some say the solution is mandatory driver training by professionals.
Crashes caused by angry and emotional drivers have doubled in the past 11 years, and males under the age of 25 are mostly to blame.
Now some are questioning whether driving lessons need to be made compulsory as research shows only 40 percent of people get a lesson with a driving instructor.
Road rage cases which leave people badly injured are more common than you might think.
Figures obtained by 3 News show 120 crashes were caused by angry or emotional drivers last year.
That's almost double the number reported in the year 2000 - and young drivers are most likely to be at fault.
“There's a tendency to take greater risks amongst young people generally and that's reflected in their driving as well,” New Zealand Transport Association spokesman Andy Knackstedt says.
In the five years to 2011, 60 percent of drivers causing emotion-charged crashes were under 30, with 60 percent of those male.
Driver Trainers Institute instructor Wayne Young say tougher driver licence tests are a start - but not the solution.
“What we need to do with the younger male drivers is get them into programmes that will help them better manage their risk.”
That could mean following Australia's lead where mandatory driver training is in place.
“There the Government has put in a considerable amount of funding over the next few years for them to do a once off driving lesson with a driving instructor,” Mr Young says.
In contrast, only 40 percent of drivers in New Zealand get a lesson from an instructor.
Psychologist Ian Lambie from the University of Auckland says young males are more likely to display signs of road rage.
“Part of their frontal cortex, their frontal lobe isn't developed until the age of maybe mid 20s and so that makes them far more impulsive, they're less considered, they're far more reactive.”
An AA Insurance survey of drivers showed 72 percent think motorists are becoming more aggressive. And 42 percent admitted to such behaviour themselves.
“They have shouted or gestured rudely at another driver,” AA Insurance head of corporate affairs Suzanne Wolton says.
But is it any wonder?
“There are inevitably more cars on the road, people are more impatient, have places to get to,” Ms Wolton says.
The Ministry of Transport says there's a growing awareness that a "distracted state of mind" can cause crashes and that could mean more reporting of agitated drivers and, in turn, an increase in the statistics.
The advice from experts is to stay calm, be considerate of other drivers and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
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1/01/2013 1:46:11 p.m.
i find it strange the public want a cut in the drink drive limit but the public remain silent about road rage penaltys. a friend of mine was brutally assaulted a couple of years back by a driver who chased and rammed him off the road - all because my friend gave a warning toot at a driver who ran a red light. The (wellington) police didnt prosecute the offending driver owing to "lack of evidence and appropriate witnesses". what this country needs are severe penalties for chasing and ramming another motorist (in NSW chasing another motorist is an offence called predatory driving which can see offenders jailed for five years). drivers who committ road rage (chasing, ramming and assaults) should have there drivers licences taken off them and there cars crushed. bottom line is if you cant maange your anger on the road - dont drive.
2/08/2012 10:44:10 p.m.
Robert W wrote:
Like in China BRIN its the same here in the Philippines. Road Rules, what road rules. How i miss our regulated society back in NZ where most sensible people understand and follow the rules. Road rage is not just akin to young drivers. Back in 2010 my wife and i visited Auckland staying with relatives at Ellerslie. One morning we all travelled from Ellerslie to Sylvia Park or Botany Downs, not sure which centre, but we entered the motorway at Ellerslie. Our male relative was driving his small Renault hatchback, with me in the front passenger seat, my wife and his wife occupying the rear seat. As we converged with motorway traffic, our driver, a driver an Airport to City bus driver in his late 50s, thought that he had been cut off by the driver of a medium sized truck. Unknown to us passengers, he got angry, overtook the truck, got in front of it and slammed his brakes on. Thats when we realised he was mad, fortunately nothing happened but both our wives were in a very precarious position in the back seat. Another time we were all together in his car, our male relative driving, we stopped at a supermarket for me to purchase some goods. As the car was parked on a right angle slope when i alighted, the passenger door slipped from my grasp and slammed closed. Soon after when i returned to the car, we didnt know he was angry, though i apologised to the driver for the slamming of the door. Well, we were in for a shock, he drove the car at full speed in the direction of Ellerslie through the suburbs like there was no tomorrow. Very scary, we all just hung on as best we could. This from a bus driver, driving nightly from Auckland Airport to the city and return six nights a week. Watchout you people on the roads in Auckland, for the Airport buses.
2/08/2012 6:00:43 p.m.
Road rage can be the result of an angry driver, but it normally stems out of when police usu. look the other way to certain driving offences (ie. not indicating, tailgating, chasing) same goes with road rage crashes, if the police came down hard on road rage then we'd see a reduction in road rage crashes and assaults.
30/07/2012 1:30:37 p.m.
My statements in answer to this old age problem of impatience and lack of self control are typically politically incorrect in New Zealands environment but there is a solution.... Send offenders for a months lessons in China where I live ! I used to yell at idiots on the road here until I learnt that these people simply read and understand the road code and then sit their license and mostly get it AND THEN FORGET THE ROAD CODE EVER EXISTED!
New Zealanders should consider them selves lucky that most of their fellow driving citizens are well mannered patient and tolerant... The reward for bad driving should be that trip to China for a lesson or 10 in flexi-driving or what I the Dodgems !
Here it's almost anything goes first to the gate is first served and that applies on the roads.... Cops ? What are they.....our cops are cameras and the uniform is only seen rarely or attending a crash... Yelling at each other is unusual! It only happens if there is a crash and it's an aftermath effect.
Red lights are only to be obeyed by 4 wheeled vehicles no one else obeys them.... NZ roads are a piece of cake to drive on arrogant young men and all !! It's kinda hard to teach patience to a young guy who believes hes number 1 in the world.... He's at the top and everyone else must do as he says.... A few injections of esterone might curb his behavior to moderately acceptable!
Or that forced trip to China for real driving practice here!
All written with tongue in cheek of course!
30/07/2012 10:17:43 a.m.
Richard Gray wrote:
It is absolutely the right way to go to make compusary all learners have professional tuition and a minimum number of supervised driving hours before a practical test can be applied for. This goes far beyond the suggestion here of a one off driving lesson with an ADI.
I am involved in driving safety in the UK and have seen too many of these debates descend into a blame game between entrenched factions, people playing computer games and white middle aged 4x4 drivers have already been brought up. Look beyond who stands to make money out of any tough new legislation, look beyond politics, accept the bias of each others perspectives, brace yourselves for the inevitable outcry and agree to put in place measures that make your young drivers the best in the world. RG, author of The Demon Road: A Theory Test Novel
29/07/2012 10:15:30 p.m.
I read an interesting comment written by a woman. She says that stopping at an orange light caused another member of the public to wave a baseball bat at her and to this day she doesn’t know why. This explains a lot of road rage, to analogise with sex, some people stop and answer the phone right in the middle and others cast it against the wall. So it is with orange lights some of us put our foot down and others stop in anticipation even when the light is green. Going back to sex, some people take the phone off the hook and others put it by the bed, just in case it rings. The primary issue is a lack of intelligence, driving a car and life in general is a dynamic experience and there are not enough rules to cover every contingency therefore initiative and aptitude are required. The problem then is that a lot of people who drive on the roads are really thick, asinine even, and no amount of training will fix that. Young men with sharp brains and even sharper reflexes will always be driven crazy by them.
29/07/2012 10:05:08 p.m.
Driver training by professionals does not solve anger problems. And by the way oldbob, I play gran turismo 5, a lot, drifting, dragging, being a maniac, but that is not how I drive in real life. Games don't have that much of an influence.
29/07/2012 9:02:54 p.m.
Peter Davidson wrote:
Nice Story But we Drive on the Lefthand side
29/07/2012 8:45:52 p.m.
mike smith wrote:
and let's not forgot the impact of middle aged white men in their 4X4s. Just watch out mext time you are on the roasd!
29/07/2012 7:39:19 p.m.
Driver Trainers Institute instructor Wayne Young is beating his own drum. Of course the Driver Training Institute will advocate compulsory mandatory training by its members. Such a regulation would be a cash cow to the institute. The problem is not driver training, its the immaturity of young drivers of both sexes who seem to think the skills they attain playing with their X-Box will see them through any situation they may face on the roads. Fifteen years old is far too young to obtain a drivers license.
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