Page last updated at 04:58 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 05:58 UK

Motoring 'cheaper than in 1988'

Traffic congestion falls behind road rage in motorists' concerns

The cost of motoring has fallen by 18% in real terms over the past 20 years, despite the price of fuel rising by 210% in that time, an RAC report says.

The motoring group takes inflation into account and says cars are now cheaper overall and need less money spent on them than they did two decades ago.

But 60% of 1,116 people surveyed actually thought higher costs were the biggest change in motoring since 1988.

The RAC's 20th Report on Motoring also reflects on the "menace" of road rage.

'Downright dangerous'

The report says roads have become more crowded and drivers angrier since 1988.

This worrying behaviour becomes downright dangerous when you consider they are behind the wheel of a tonne-and-a-half of metal
Adrian Tink, RAC

Nearly a third of those surveyed said they had been victims of road rage which had left them feeling physically threatened.

Half of them also admitted having sworn, gestured rudely and shouted at other drivers.

The RAC said motorists who did not control their tempers were a "menace" to others on the road.

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "It is worrying that millions of motorists are victims of a driving behaviour [road rage] that didn't even have a name 20 years ago.

"This worrying behaviour becomes downright dangerous when you consider they are behind the wheel of a tonne-and-a-half of metal."

Some 92% believe we are more reliant on our cars than in 1988
Of all households, 75% have a car, while seven out of 10 British adults carry a licence
The number of households with a car has gone from 14m in 1988 to 19.5m - an increase of 39%
Local speed limits of 30mph are accepted by 66% of drivers, but over half want to see motorway limits raised from 70mph to 80mph
The number of women drivers on UK roads has gone from 10.2m to 15.3m
Source: RAC Report on Motoring

The RAC report suggests that road rage and inconsiderate driving are seen as more of a nuisance by motorists than congestion.

Even so, more than half of drivers think Britain's roads will be gridlocked in the next 20 years - despite the average annual mileage of British drivers dropping from 10,200 in 1988 to 9,070 in 2008.

The vast majority (92%) of those surveyed said Britain was a car-dependent society, and more than seven out of 10 drivers said they would find it very difficult to cope without a car.

A third of motorists said they went on shorter journeys than they did 20 years ago, but 9% of drivers said they never walked anywhere.

The report also discloses that three in four of those surveyed want the legal drink-drive limit to be cut.

How to temper your temper
04 Sep 06 |  Health
Drivers accused of cycle rage
12 Jul 06 |  Oxfordshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific