SUV driv­ers need a brake, says road rage study

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

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.

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