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Thursday, August 27, 1998 Published at 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK


Street stresses that drive us to distraction

Traffic is the second-biggest cause of road stress

Aggressive driving by other motorists is the biggest cause of in-car tension, according to an RAC survey.

Bob Sinkinson on the increase in road tension
As thousands prepare to take to the roads for the August Bank Holiday weekend, the survey of 1,266 adults says more than three-quarters of drivers admit to feeling stress on at least some journeys, most often caused by other road-users.

More than a fifth of drivers doing a 200-mile trip during the Bank Holiday were unlikely to enjoy their break, as they would feel "mentally drained" after such a journey.

Getting stuck in a traffic jam, and running late were the next biggest reasons for drivers getting stressed.

Men are three times more likely to get fed up in jams than women, but females are more affected by others' aggressive driving, according to the survey.

Half relax before drive

More than half of the adults questioned said they calm their nerves before a drive by putting on soothing music before starting out.

RAC spokesman, Edmund King, said: "For many people, aggressive driving and traffic jams are the biggest cause of stress not just on the street but in their lives."

He added: "We should avoid the aggressive drivers by refusing to get involved in their road rage. We should avoid the traffic jams by being better prepared."

The top stress-creating situations are:

  • Other motorists driving aggressively 39%
  • Getting stuck in a traffic jam 19%
  • Trying to beat the clock after setting off late 14%
  • Having a slow driver in front 11%
  • Emergency lights flashing on the dashboard 9%
  • When the petrol gauge is low 6%.

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