Nearly 20 percent have been physically threatened – and one in ten admit to actually coming to blows.
For runners and cyclists, the numbers are even higher, and one in three joggers said they feared for their safety after an incident.
“Our research shows that attitudes on ‘who owns the road’ aren’t changing,” said Auto Trader audience and brand director Lei Sorvisto. This is despite the Highway Code recently changing to reflect the safety needs of all road users, not just motorists.
“There is [now] much more fear and intimidation on our roads.”
Road users often dislike one another, and the Auto Trader survey showed that this was most often because people felt others weren’t showing ‘road equality’. Seven in ten said Britain’s roads aren’t equal for all users.
The online marketplace has launched a new campaign aimed at changing this, called #SwearToChange. It is giving away 20,000 items of reflective clothing to encourage a shift in attitudes.
The campaign is being fronted by British Olympic gold-winning cyclist and jockey Victoria Pendleton. “Instead of swearing at each other, let’s swear to change,” she said.
“We all have an equal right to be on the road, so let’s be more compassionate and considerate to others and see what change we can drive.”
British Paralympian Lauren Steadman is also supporting the campaign. The campaign is “sparking a constructive debate on the changes all road users would like to see on UK roads,” she said.
“It’s alarming to see the statistics on aggression, physical violence and abuse.”
Auto Trader also discovered that 45 percent of road users have been shouted at, 41 percent have been sworn at, and two in three have been tailgated. One in five have been left fearing for their safety.
The company is giving away 20,000 reflective jackets, backpack covers and dog leads from 4 February; registrations are being taken daily for the next 20 days at a ‘swear to change’ hub, with winners drawn at random.