A new survey of UK driving instructors has uncovered the shocking scale of abuse suffered by their students. Nearly a third (31%) of driving instructors reported witnessing road rage aimed at their students on a daily basis; two-thirds (66%) have been subjected to abusive hand gestures, half (49%) have experienced verbal abuse and two-thirds (66%) have reported other drivers unnecessarily tailgating them.
The research – carried out by the insurance firm, Marmalade – shows the behaviour can have potentially fatal consequences, with 85% of instructors saying their students make more mistakes, nearly a quarter (22%) of learner drivers have cried as a result of the abuse and one in ten (8%) have quit learning altogether because they were too scared to carry on.
According to the research, male drivers are the worst offenders – 81% of driving instructors said it was men who were behind the abuse. 25-40 year olds is the age group most likely to be abusive towards learner drivers (46%), while young drivers are the most supportive of learners – only 11% of instructors claimed to have witnessed learner abuse from this group.
Aston spoke to Crispin Moger, CEO at marmalade and Linda Ball, UK driving instructor to discuss the research and also the petition that is being launched.