Children 'main source of road rage'

Back-seat squabbling, spilled drinks and "are we there yet?" can make driving with children particularly stressful for parents.

Now a new survey has shown that little ones are the main cause of road rage.

A third of men say they only get angry behind the wheel when their children are in the car, while one in four women admit to losing their cool on the school run.

The online survey of 1,000 British drivers was conducted by used-car supermarket Carcraft.

Comprehensive car insurance is especially important, as drivers need to protect themselves from the wrath of risky road rage drivers.

Julia Dallimore, head of marketing at Carcraft, said: "The results of the survey weren't entirely surprising as most parents will know that driving the kids can really drive mums and dads round the bend!"

Psychologist Mike Guttridge said: "Having the kids in the car is distracting and, like being on the phone, may affect reaction times to stimulus on the roads.

"We're all naturally protective of our families, so if we are the victim of bad driving, or just running late and a bit stressed, we may have an adrenalin surge, which is expressed as road rage.

"Women tend to be less aggressive than men, so it's no surprise that female road rage is triggered by a protective, 'lioness' instinct."

The survey unearthed some of Britain's other pet driving peeves as well.

Tailgating angered 28% of respondents, while two-a-breast cyclists ticked off a third of male and female drivers.

Women confessed to being much less tolerant than men when faced with traffic jams and rude drivers.

But 51% of respondents said they allowed other cars out in queues and waved to say "thank you" to other motorists.

"The good news is, Britain does seem to be driving happy, with physical acts of road rage very rare and only 4% of drivers claiming to experience road rage on a regular basis," said Ms Dallimore.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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