SUV drivers need a brake, says road rage study
MANY commuters and parents doing the morning school run won’t fall off their chairs in shock at this result, but a survey has found SUV drivers are the most aggressive.
The research, conducted by Newspoll on 3700 drivers over the age of 18, says SUV drivers are the most aggressive on our roads, at the opposite end of the spectrum to the previous survey by insurance company AAMI, which found small car drivers were top of the aggression pops in 2011.
The 2013 winner’s sash has been awarded to SUV drivers by AAMI after the study was expanded to rank drivers across 10 aggressive behaviour patterns.
The survey found many drivers of SUVs were — by their own admission — impatient to the point of having been involved in an accident in the past five years because of it.
Some SUV drivers also admitted they had ignored speed limits in places like suburban roads or outside schools, displayed anger at the actions of other drivers and tailgated them to show their disapproval, or yelled, swore or ‘‘gesticulated’’ at them for rude or dangerous road manners.
The segment is becoming a greater part of the Australian road fleet — so far this year, more than 106,000 new SUVs have been sold — up 12.6 per cent on last year.
The 2012 tally for SUVs topped 305,000 — more than a quarter of the total vehicle market and a 25 per volume jump on the year before.
The survey also suggests that black cars tend to be piloted by more aggressive drivers — maybe they’re just angry at how often they have to wash their vehicles.
AAMI spokesman Reuben Aitchison said the idea that young males in modified machines were the most aggressive wasn’t an accurate depiction either — almost two thirds of SUV drivers are females aged 25 to 49, or men aged 50-plus.
‘‘Simply being in a big car doesn’t give you any superiority on the road, despite what people think,’’ he said.
Mr Aitchison said the company’s research suggested it wasn’t the size of your car, but what you did with it that counted.
‘‘Getting aggro on the road won’t get you to your destination any faster, and the same rules apply to us all,’’ he said.