Hundreds of Manitoba drivers have admitted to angry driving, according to a Manitoba Public Insurance road safety survey. Of the 1,500 drivers surveyed, three in 10 admitted they committed acts of road rage after experiencing feelings of anger.
In order to raise awareness about angry driving, Manitoba Public Insurance is launching an extensive public awareness campaign in October Dubbed “Friendly Manitoba,” the campaign will focus on a middle-aged man who presents himself as a model citizen (well mannered, polite, caring and giving) until he gets behind the wheel of his vehicle where he displays his “angry” personality.
“Anger is often displayed by shouting, cursing or making rude gestures, or more rarely, extreme actions, such as forcing a car off the road and worse,” said Satvir Jatana, vice-president responsible for Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance. “Angry drivers are more likely to engage in unsafe driving behavior such as drive aggressively, or may even become distracted by their anger. Not surprisingly, they are at a higher risk of causing or getting into a collision. Research confirms that those who drive anger-free have 35 per cent reduced odds of collision involvement.”
Other findings in MPI’s survey included:
- Three in 10 drivers admitted they committed acts of road rage after experiencing feelings of anger
- Four in 10 drivers admitted to weaving in and out of traffic
- Nearly three-quarters of drivers admitted to speeding up to get through a yellow light
“Aggressive driving behaviours may consist of following too closely, unsafe lane changes (weaving in and out of traffic) and failure to obey traffic signals,” said Jatana. “The road safety survey confirmed many Manitoba drivers act out their anger in response to traffic situations and other road users. As we work towards saving more lives on our roadways, we must embrace a new culture for drivers – including the belief that one fatality is too many and high-risk driving behaviours are no longer acceptable.”
While there is no collision data tracked specifically to feelings of anger while driving, repeat high-risk driving behaviours and subsequent convictions (i.e. dangerous driving, speeding and at-fault collisions) can result in a driver’s licence suspension. Suspensions impact an individual’s placement on the Driver Safety Rating (DSR). While the majority of Manitoba drivers have a +15 rating and receive a 33 per cent discount off their Basic Autopac premium, more than 2,000 drivers are at the bottom of the scale with a -20 rating and $3,000 driver’s licence surcharge.
“Angry driving not only leads to a higher risk of collisions, it’s unsafe and unpleasant for other passengers and sets a poor example for the next generation of drivers – our children and is counter-intuitive to our culture of “friendly Manitobans,” said Jatana.