Nearly half of motorists experience road rage while on their travels, according to a survey by car insurance provider Admiral.
More worryingly, of the 3,120 drivers questioned, nearly a third admitted to getting severely wound up on the road at least once a week.
This ugly streak exhibited by UK motorists can have serious consequences. 36 per cent of those surveyed said that they drive more aggressively as a result of getting vexed at other road users.
Over a fifth of drivers have also found themselves in a full-blown argument with other motorists, while for a smaller minority things have got even more serious. Eight per cent of respondents admitted to following a driver after an altercation, and nearly one in ten have been threatened with physical violence.
The survey showed that both males and females are equally likely to be victims of road rage, but it is the blokes who are more likely to have arguments, make rude gestures and follow other drivers as a result.
But what is it that is causing drivers to get so angry with each other? The largest cause of the descending red mist seems to be being cut up and a lack of indication at junctions – both cited by over 60 per cent of respondents.
Impatience is another cause of road rage, with slow drivers more likely to get people vexed than those who speed.
Commenting on the findings, RoSPA head of road safety Kevin Clinton, said: “Safe driving requires concentration, observation and anticipation as well as a responsible attitude to other road users. This is often easier said than done, as our driving can be affected by our mood, our reaction to the behaviour of other people and frustration caused by traffic delays.
“Unfortunately, this can result in some drivers getting angry and stressed and taking this out on other people by tailgating, exceeding speed limits, undertaking, and generally driving aggressively. This sort of driving increases the chances of the angry driver causing an accident, which in the worst cases, can mean people losing their lives.
“In 2011, 122 people were killed, and almost 1,000 seriously injured, in accidents involving aggressive driving, according to the Department for Transport’s Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2011 report. It also found 13 people were killed and more than 500 seriously injured in accidents involving a driver “following too close”.”