AXA Car Insurance have just launched AXA Respect On The Road, an initiative aimed at young drivers whose inexperience and lack of respect for other road users shows itself all too often behind the wheel.
The intention behind the initiative is to try to bring respect and courtesy for other drivers back to British roads. As many of us will recognise, very often inexperienced drivers show themselves up by behaving atrociously behind the wheel and behaving in ways they normally wouldn't if they weren't driving.
As part of the campaign Axa has created a Facebook Fanpage for the public to debate and discuss the issues they see as most important to the campaign. They've also created a YouTube video (see above), acted by 5 year olds who are imitating behaviour they have witnessed from their parents. Axa have also made a series of Cab Cam videos (see below) where the public have voiced their opinions about road rage.
I'm excited by this initiative as I have personally witnessed dreadful and dangerous behaviour on three occasions in the last year or so.
Near where we live there is a three lane road which is often used as a racing track by young male drivers. On a recent trip outwith my husband and with our three small children in the back two young men, driving actual racing cars, overtook us. We were in the single inside lane meaning one was driving alongside us on the outside lane facing on-coming traffic, whilst the other was on his outside; in effect three cars all travelling in one direction! I can only imagine the sheer terror felt by drivers on the opposite side of the road who were having to swerve off the road to avoid a multi-car pile up. I was absolutely shaking afterwards and felt sick as I realised what could have happened to us all had just one on-coming driver not taken immediate evasive action.
On another occasion, as I pulled out of a country side road, a young woman came racing up the hill and with her car full of friends started cursing at me and shaking her fist. I had done nothing wrong at all but she had almost caused an accident and obviously decided it looked cool to lose her temper rather than smile apologetically for speeding on a side road and almost causing an accident in the process.
On numerous occasions I've been sitting at traffic lights as people started blowing their horns if the person in front was just seconds late in moving off when the lights changed and I've also had people tailgate me for keeping to the speed limit!
So, I welcome Axa's attempts to try to end this unacceptable behaviour. I've no doubt many of the people I've seen would be perfectly courteous if they bumped into someone in person, but for some reason, when in a car, they become almost alien!
Check out Axa's Respect on the Road website where you can find out more about the campaign, take part in surveys, share your own experiences and read about some of the ways people behave when they're driving their cars. And don't forget to show you respect the road by clicking the Like button if you're on Facebook and sharing this campaign with all your friends.