Learner drivers are subject to unacceptable abuse - BBC Report

Learner drivers are subject to unacceptable abuse - BBC Report

According to a report from the BBC Learner Drivers are being subjected to abuse from other drivers

Driving instructors say they and their learner drivers are experiencing regular abuse from other road users. Incidents of intimidation, swearing and being spat at have been reported.

One newly-qualified driver said she thought she had failed her test after she was subjected to "despicable" abuse.

A survey by insurance company Marmalade found 81% of learner drivers surveyed between October 2021 and March 2022 had experienced abuse or intimidation, with 11% saying it happened on most journeys.

The most common problem reported was tail-gaiting, but others reported being cut-up, involved in face-to-face confrontations and even being bumped into.

Police are encouraging drivers to share video evidence so they can prosecute offenders.

How should Learner Drivers deal with road rage and intimidation

Well the usual advice is stay calm. 

Really, I have this car revving its engine up behind me pushing me to go faster than I should, he is getting really angry and I am a total wreck, how the hell am I supposed to stay calm, well truth be told you probably can’t just like that, it takes practice and patience, which fortunately you get every time you get in the car to practice.

Ok  then, what can I do to get out of this current situation. 

If there is a turning into a side road take it, even if it’s not on your journey, this will give Mr/Mrs HOTHEAD an opportunity to continue past and start intimidating his/her next victim. Don’t go into a cul-de-sac though in case he/she follows you.

If your nerves are completely shot then just park up somewhere safe and public and try to rationalise the situation. It can be helpful to get out of the car as this dissociates you from what has just taken place. It gives you a neutral space to calm down and collect your thoughts. Making up stories about them in your head can also allow you to dissociate from the individual, after all whatever happend was not really directed at you personally, was it. You just happened to be there, case of wrong place wrong time that's all it was. It could have been anyone or anything that set them off.

Your 'Head Stories' can be anything you like, his wife want’s a divorce, the bank phoned him 10 mins ago to say he is behind again with his mortgage  and they are starting repossession proceedings. If you make up a good enough story you might surprise yourself and start feeling sorry for the idiot.

Rationalise it, tell yourself that you are  a better human being than them and would never stoop so low even if provoked. You are better than that, you really are.

If you can’t divert to lose them, keep telling yourself I am not going to break the law just because of you, I am the one doing it right, you are wrong and just an ignorant…… fill in the space. Tell yourself over and over, I am in the right I am doing nothing wrong, I AM in the RIGHT and doing nothing wrong, all the time trying not to lose concentration on what is happening in front of you by being distracted by the Idiot behind. 

Treat the situation as an opportunity to improve your skills, dealing with an idiot and dealing with everything else that is also happening, Hey, you might even impress you Instructor or examiner with your calm approach to dealing with it all, what an opportunity so make the most of it, show what a calm and responsible driver you are even in the most trying of circumstances.

Remember he/she was a learner once and probably were subject to the same things, so what a  hypocrite they really are and how far they have fallen. They really are beyond contempt and not worthy of your time worrying about them, you have a job to do PASS THE TEST and get on with your life, and are not going to be put of it by someone you don’t know, will probably never encounter again and is by all standards not worth knowing.

If another driver slams on his brakes in front of you and gets out of his car, lock your doors and call the police.

If you are on a lesson, remember it is a sad fact that your driving instructor has probably dealt with something similar this week or yesterday or maybe a couple of times already today, so take a lead from him and follow his advice.

And above all remember that you will not allow the bad behaviour of others to put a stop to your goals in life, including passing the Driving Test. Once you have passed your test, you will hopefully remember what it is like to be intimidated, and won't start playing that game yourself, otherwise you really are no better than them, a hypocrite of the first order.

PS: Looking to the future, we would like to see  Mr/Mrs Hothead try revving up an EV engine to intimidate, guess they would have to resort to using the horn instead. Or better still, just calm down and moderate their behaviour, or is that too much to ask! 


Full article on BBC News