Road rage is on the rise in New Zealand with nearly a third of Kiwi motorists involved in heated incidents while driving in the past year, a new survey shows.
The study, commissioned by AA Insurance and conducted by Kantar, shows 28 per cent of Kiwis have experienced incidents of road rage in the past 12 months, with younger drivers more likely to have been involved in incidents.
AA Insurance head of motor claims Beau Paparoa said it was important to “keep a cool head” while driving, especially ahead of increased traffic during summer.
“With busier roads, there is a greater risk of distraction and ultimately vehicle accidents, so we’re calling on all drivers to be extra mindful of each other and allow plenty of time to arrive safely at their destination,” Paparoa said.
Paparoa said while it can be stressful sharing roads during busy times of the year, ”we all know that getting angry and impulsive while behind the wheel is never worth it – it’s a recipe for disaster.”
In Auckland and Canterbury, 31 per cent of respondents had been involved in violent incidents on the road, while only 22 per cent of people in Wellington had.
The study, commissioned by AA Insurance and conducted by Kantar, shows 28 per cent of Kiwis have experienced incidents of road rage in the past 12 months, with younger drivers more likely to have been involved in incidents. Photo / File
The survey also found almost a majority of respondents believed road rage had worsened since the beginning of Covid-19.
“We’re heading into the first summer in years without Covid-19 travel restrictions, and holiday spots are welcoming back international tourists, so we’re expecting to see plenty of traffic on the roads,” Paparoa said.
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Several violent incidents on New Zealand’s roads have been caught on camera during the past year.
Earlier this month the Herald reported a brawl between motorists where an elderly man faced off with a patched gang member.
Captured on video, the older man threw several punches at the gang member before landing a bruising right hand that knocks the younger man to the ground.
In a separate incident in October, a man was left traumatised with serious injuries after being bashed in another alleged road-rage incident.
A man was allegedly beaten up, robbed and his car damaged after a collision with another vehicle carrying a group of people.
The violent road-rage incident in Rotorua was captured on video by the victim. Photo / Supplied
Two young children cried and screamed as a man thumped his fist on their windscreen and bonnet in an alarming road-rage incident in Rotorua in May.
As the driver fled the violence, her children could be heard on video crying, saying “go Mum, go” and “Mummy, I want to go home ... just drive, Mummy.”
AA Insurance’s survey found two-fifths of Kiwi motorists ranked other road users as the biggest distraction while driving.
Distracted drivers were a concern to almost 70 per cent of respondents.
Ahead of holiday traffic, head of motor claims Beau Paparoa said avoiding distractions and managing anger on New Zealand’s roads could help ensure drivers got their destination safely.
“It always pays to keep a cool head in traffic and queues and take plenty of breaks if you’re getting agitated or aren’t enjoying the ride – this is especially important if you’re starting to drift off or lose your concentration.”
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