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Fast and furious: 73% of Aussies have fallen victim to a road rage incident


Engines aren't the only thing overheating on the roads this summer – our tempers are too, according to new research by Finder.

A new nationally representative Finder survey of 1,004 Australians has revealed that a whopping 73% of drivers have been the victims of a road rage incident.

Tailgating is the number one offence that Aussies have experienced behind the wheel (49%), followed by another driver blasting their horn (42%).

Around 1 in 3 drivers (32%) have been subjected to verbal abuse on the road, with that same number (32%) purposely cut off by another driver.

According to the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE), there were 196 road fatalities in Australia between December 2019 and January 2020, and 216 deaths during the same period the year before (December 2018 - January 2019).

Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder, urged Aussie drivers to keep their cool this summer.

"Millions of Aussies are taking to the roads to visit loved ones over the summer, but a concerning number of drivers are seeing red.

"Road rage and aggressive driving is a major contributing factor to car accidents.

"It's normal to get annoyed behind the wheel from time to time, especially if another driver's actions are frustrating, inconsiderate or downright dangerous.

"But you should never threaten or intimate another driver – doing so can make the situation much worse, and puts other drivers and passengers at risk," Blackburn said.

Men are the most likely to encounter road rage, with 77% of male drivers falling victim to aggressive behaviour from another driver, whereas just 68% of women have experienced the same.

Queensland is also home to Australia's angriest drivers – more than 3 in 4 drivers here (77%) have been victim to a road rage incident, compared to just 69% in South Australia.

Blackburn said that drivers risk having their car insurance claim rejected if they get into an accident linked to their own aggressive driving.

"Many insurers won't cover you if you fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent damage or liability occurring.

"This means if you're tailgating another car and have a rear-end collision, or deliberately cut another driver off and they crash into you, you may need to foot the repair costs yourself.

"Outside of a voided insurance policy, you may also face criminal charges for negligent or reckless driving.

"The consequences of road rage can be dangerous and expensive – it's much more important to get to your destination unharmed.

"With many drivers taking to the roads over the new year, now is also a good time to review your current car insurance policy and make sure you have adequate cover," Blackburn said.

Have you ever experienced the following on the road in the last 10 years?
Been tailgated by another driver49%
Another driver beeped their horn at me42%
Been shouted or cursed at by another driver32%
Purposely cut off by another driver32%
I have not experienced any of these27%
Another driver gave me the finger26%
Been threatened by another driver18%
Been injured by another driver7%

Source: Finder December survey, 2020, respondents asked to tick all that apply

Surprising factors that can void your car insurance claim:

  • Motorsports or reckless acts. Indulging in your need for speed could cause your resulting claim to be rejected. This includes things like racing, driving on a four-wheel drive adventure park or racetrack, trials, speed tests, rallies, contests and hill climbs.
  • Hiring out your car. If you "rent" your car to a friend for a couple of months, or drive for a rideshare service like Uber, your resulting claim may be rejected. All comprehensive car insurers exclude claims that arise because your car was being used for hire, fare or monetary reward.
  • Damaged tyres. The minimum legal tyre tread depth in Australia is 1.5mm. Replacing your tyres before they get to this point is a critical safety measure. If you have an accident while your car is fitted with tyres that don't meet the minimum safety requirements, your claim may not be approved.

Finder discovered an average difference of $2,643 between two car insurance policies. Find out how much could you save by comparing car insurance.

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