Road rage

AA calls for tribal harmony on the roads

AA calls for tribal harmony on the roads

AA calls for tribal harmony on the roads

Motorists are most likely to feel angry with other car drivers when driving rather than other road users, according to a new AA/Populous poll of over 20,000 drivers launched on 14 November at the Road Safety GB national conference.

In terms of the hierarchy of road rage, car drivers are followed by the white van man as the most annoying.

Edmund King, AA president and visiting professor at Newcastle University, outlines the findings in a keynote address entitled “Two tribes? What drivers think of other road users.”

Which makes you most angry?

Drivers were asked: Which road users make you feel most angry when driving?

  • Car drivers              45%
  • White Van Man       18%
  • Cyclists                    13%
  • Motorcyclists           6%
  • Bus drivers              4%
  • Pedestrians             1%

Views by age and region

When analysing the question of which category of road user makes you most angry, the survey showed: 

  • Drivers in Northern Ireland (52%) and perhaps surprisingly the home of the motor industry, West Midlands (49%), were most likely to select car drivers as their number one hate.
  • Of those who selected motorcyclists as making them most angry, there were more older drivers (over 65s) and younger drivers (18-24) plus those based in London and the South East.
  • Of those who selected white van man as the number one cause of their road rage, professional people, those living in London and the South East and over 55s were more likely to be represented.
  • Seven per cent of drivers in the North East felt bus drivers were their number one concern but older drivers were much less concerned.
  • Nineteen per cent of young drivers (18-24) and 18 per cent of those in London picked cyclists as most likely to make them angry.
  • Pedestrians came out best across the age range and regions with just one per cent saying they made them most angry.

We really must get past this dangerous ‘them and us’ mentality that sours interactions between different groups

Edmund King, AA president

Them and us

Commenting on the findings, Edmund King, AA president, said: “We really must get past this dangerous ‘them and us’ mentality that sours interactions between different groups (and even sub-groups) of road users – be they cyclists, motorcyclists or drivers of vehicles large or small.

“A tribal mentality on the roads just fosters road rage which is not good for your blood pressure or road safety. Drivers need to remember that other road users are also human beings with equal rights to share the roads.

The AA Charitable Trust offers free driver training via our Drive Smart and Drive Confident courses in order to retrain drivers at risk and break down some of these barriers.

Prestigious award

Development and promotion of a free driving course for rusty and nervous drivers has helped the AA Charitable Trust win a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.


(14 November 2012)

Details of the Road Safety GB conference where the award will be presented and Edmund King, AA  President will give a presentation “Two Tribes: What drivers think about other road users?”

AA/Populus polled 20,261 drivers online 21 – 28 June 2012