ONE in five UK motorists admit to having had a blazing row behind the wheel – and some even resorted to a physical bust-up on the road.
New research was carried out by leading UK vehicle leasing company Select Car Leasing, who also discovered that men are more likely than women to flip out in their vehicle.
Select Car Leasing director James O'Malley said: “Arguments on the road can go from 0 to 60 faster than a top-of-the-range sports car, and sometimes be even more dramatic.
“But while there are plenty of habits and behaviours that understandably drive many of us a bit bonkers, it’s worth remembering that keeping calm behind the wheel is the key to being responsible and safe.
“Kids screaming in the back seat, being told to turn left rather than right, getting nagged about your speed… all of these will be very familiar to most drivers, especially those with families.
“Once sparks fly, not only are you potentially facing the rest of the journey in a stony silence – it’s unlikely to be much fun when you get to your destination.”
The survey of 1,000 UK motorists, carried out by Select Car Leasing via One Poll, revealed 18 per cent have had a verbal row in their vehicle while three per cent admitted to having had a physical fight – resulting in kicking or punching someone while driving.
Female drivers showed slightly cooler heads, with 17 per cent admitting to losing it behind the wheel, as opposed to 20 per cent of men.
And women (6 per cent) were also less likely to check out an attractive pedestrian or fellow driver than their male counterparts (21 per cent).
The East Midlands was found to be the angriest part of the country, where almost a quarter of drivers (24 per cent) admitted to having had a verbal argument while behind the wheel. The calmest zone was Northern Ireland, where just 10 per cent had been involved in a verbal tussle.
In another fascinating insight into British driving behaviour, the survey found that those in higher paid jobs were five times more likely to come to blows with someone while driving than those lower down the social standings.
Some 11 per cent of those in ‘higher managerial, administrative or professional roles’ – such as chief executives and surgeons – admitted to punching or kicking someone, compared to just two per cent of skilled manual workers, including plumbers or electricians.
Mr O’Malley said: “While there are trends that emerge, it is clear that whatever your gender or job title, getting involved in verbal or physical confrontations does nobody any good while you’re driving a car or van.
“And if you are angry with those inside your vehicle, you are much more likely to act aggressively towards those outside.
“The tragic results of road rage incidents are regularly in the news, giving everyone serious food for thought about how they should behave while in charge of a vehicle.”