A third of Brits regularly drive while stressed – and half of them believe other motorists are to blame

A third of Brits regularly drive while stressed – and half of them believe other motorists are to blame
A third of Brits regularly drive while stressed – and half of them believe other motorists are to blame

A third of Brits get stressed behind the wheel with half admitting that other motorists literally drive them round the bend.

The biggest cause of anxiety was being tailgated by space invaders, while driving in bad weather was high up the list for 35 per cent of drivers.

Cyclists also featured in the top 10 stressers with one in three motorists claiming overtaking a bike put them in a spin.

Just under half claimed another big stress trigger was driving on a winding lane with blind bends, with a quarter struggling to pass tractors.

‘Aggressive driving is not safe’

The research was conducted by insurers Swinton Group, which has teamed up with road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, to remind drivers of their road manners.

Anne Kirk, of Swinton, said: “We see a sharp increase in calls to our customer service team each year from October and throughout the winter period as drivers navigate tougher driving conditions and busier roads.

”We know that stressed drivers can contribute to accidents, and we want to play our part in helping reduce the likelihood of incidents on the road.”

Rebecca Ashton, head of driving behaviours at IAM RoadSmart, added: “The behaviour of others on the road has a significant impact on the stress levels felt by motorists, so we’re encouraging drivers to remember their road manners.

“Stress can affect how we feel physically and emotionally and, as a result, can impair our judgement and our reactions.

“Courtesy costs nothing, and tailgating or making sudden decisions, like braking and swerving, will frustrate other drivers and distract you.

“Aggressive driving is not safe, so if you feel agitated, you should always stop driving.”

Women more likely than men to get stressed out behind the wheel

The study, of more than 2,000 adults, found women are more likely than men to let something on the road stress them out.

And London drivers feel more stress than those living anywhere else.

In comparison, drivers in the South East find themselves the most relaxed while driving.

The top 10 driving stressors

1. Being tailgated (i.e. another driver being very close behind me)
2. Poor driving decisions by other drivers (e.g. speeding)
3. Bad road surfaces (e.g. potholes)
4. Winding lanes with blind bends (i.e. bends I cannot easily see around)
5. Bad weather (e.g. heavy rain etc.)
6. Passing cyclists on the road
7. A lack of road lighting
8. It being too sunny (i.e. sun shining in my eyes when driving)
9. Passing horses on the road
10. Passing tractors on the road

The regions that experience the most and least stress

1. London
2. East of England
3. Wales
3. West Midlands
3. North West
4. Yorkshire and the Humber
5. East Midlands
6. North East
7. South West
8. Scotland
9. South East

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