Road Rage One of Many Concerns for Drivers
Australian motorists are increasingly concerned about the aggressive behaviour and attitude of other motorists on the road, according to ANOP research released today.
The ANOP research, released by the Australian Automobile Association, shows 48% the motorists surveyed listed their primary safety concern as behaviour and attitudes of other drivers – almost double the numbers of five years ago.
The ANOP research is the eighth in a series undertaken for the AAA since 1995 and covers a wide range of issues affecting Australian motorists, including:
- petrol pricing and taxation,
- roads and infrastructure spending,
- road safety and drivers attitudes,
- environmental concerns, and
- new vehicle advertising.
Executive Director of the AAA,Lauchlan McIntosh, said the survey results showed a clear picture of the Australian motorists’ agenda and the issues of concern to them.
ANOP Chief Executive, Rod Cameron, said today the research was designed to monitor Australian motorists’ agenda and attitudes and to track trends compared to previous surveys.
Mr Cameron said the research had shown a change in attitude toward the main causes of road trauma.
More than 48% listed the behaviour and attitudes of other drivers as their main concern on the road, well up on the 2000 survey which had 28% of drivers concerned about “other” drivers’ attitudes.
“This concern has risen significantly over the past five years - it is an indication of how social pressures are impacting on standards of courtesy on the road and resulting in a more impatient and selfish mindset among drivers,” Mr Cameron said.
“But while motorists are increasingly displaying irritation with “other” drivers, they are also starting to focus more on the condition and safety of roads as a major factor in road safety and road crashes.
“Drink driving has dropped significantly as a perceived cause of road crashes – from 60% in 2004 to 46% in this survey – clearly reflecting the belief that drink driving campaigns conducted by governments and motoring clubs are having an impact.
“While speed and drivers’ attitudes are the main unprompted response from drivers as the main perceived cause of crashes, they are increasingly aware of other factors, and this shows through as a pattern over the course of several surveys.”
Concern over the condition of our roads has risen by more than one third, from 14% of drivers surveyed in 2004 to 22% in the February 2005 poll. The concern over roads was greater in regional areas, with 66% saying they “should be better”.
“Nearly three in four motorists believe that the Federal Government should be spending more on infrastructure – like roads and transport movements – rather than maintaining the current substantial surplus,” Mr Cameron noted.
Some six in every ten motorists are opposed to more toll roads being built, with 40% strongly against further tolling charges. Mr Cameron said most drivers commented that the taxes and petrol excise they pay should be channelled into better infrastructure and safer roads.
On petrol pricing issues, a large percentage of drivers now use shopper dockets to discount their petrol purchases – some 75% of drivers have used the shopper dockets with more than half that number using them most of the time. The figure has more than doubled over the past five years, from 33% of drivers in 2000 to 73% this year.
The survey shows that there remains concern on the use of ethanol in – only one in four motorists indicated they were happy to buy ethanol-blended fuel, with 60% rejecting it out of hand or holding reservations about the fuel.
On new car advertising, nearly one in two motorists had concerns about the emphasis on speed, particularly targetting young people, in advertisements.
Mr McIntosh said the ANOP research showed that Australians still placed a high value on their car and their ability to use the car.
“Australians value their own vehicles and the independence it gives them,” Mr McIntosh said.
“The survey shows that motorists are increasingly aware of the issues surrounding the use of their car and the environment they drive in – the survey shows the key areas where improvements will be welcome.”