Nearly a third (30%) of motorists have witnessed physical abuse related to a driving incident in the past 12 months, a new survey suggests.
The RAC poll also indicates nearly half (49%) have seen verbal abuse dished out to another motorist this year, while 60% think road rage is more common than a decade ago.
Drivers who feel aggrieved “all too often” use hand gestures towards other motorists which lead to confrontations, the automotive services company said.
The proportion of motorists who say their biggest concern on the road is the aggressive behaviour of other drivers has doubled from 4% to 8% over the past 12 months.
The RAC’s annual Report On Motoring also suggests 51% of drivers aged 17-24 are still using their phone illegally behind the wheel, while 19% of motorists admit they think or know they have driven while over the drink-drive limit in the last year.
Some 1,753 drivers were surveyed in May and June for the research.
RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said fears associated with the behaviour of other drivers are growing due to a combination of factors such as the pressure of modern life, a reliance on the car for so many journeys and record traffic volumes leading to congestion.
He went on: “Perhaps it is also the case that our tolerance of other people who make mistakes while driving is falling.
“A quick sorry in the form of an apologetic wave could go a long way to taking the heat out of a situation.
“Unfortunately, all too often it is a hand gesture of another sort that leads to an unpleasant car confrontation.”