Mike Stevens | Jan 31, 2012

National insurer AAMI has released its 16th Crash Index this week, and the results are in: we motorists are a surly, unrepentant bunch of road-ragers.

Surveying 3740 Australian motorists, the study saw half of the respondents admit to yelling and swearing at another driver for what they saw as rude or dangerous behaviour.

Of the 50 percent that admitted to verbally abusing another driver, 82 percent felt it was justified.

“When you cut someone off, it’s because you’re in a hurry; when someone cuts you off, it’s because they’re a jerk. Or worse," AAMI's Reuben Aitchison said.

“There’s this odd disconnect on our roads, in that if you ask people how they should respond to rude or aggressive driving behaviours, the vast majority (87 percent) say you should ignore the other driver or signal an apology. But when push comes to shove, we let rip."

The results also saw 38 percent of participants admit to delivering a "less than polite" gesture, with 81 percent of those feeling justified.

A worrying 18 percent also admitted to deliberately tailgating another motorist over a perceived slight, with 66 percent of those feeling justified.

Worse, 10 percent of respondents said they had been forced off the road by angry drivers, and two percent of those said they'd been physically assaulted.

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