One in two motorists no longer enjoy driving according to new research from Continental Tyres – and road rage is a significant factor in that depressing statistic.

Continental Tyres produced the report to support its 'Courtesy Campaign' to encourage motorists to employ more courteous driving methods. It points out that more courteous driving would not only improve safety and the overall driving experience but would also ease congestion and reduce delays.

Dr Mark Sullman, expert in driver behaviour at Cranfield University said: "When driving, we are prevented from using the normal cues to work out people's intentions, such as facial expression and body language, so we are more likely to misunderstand their behaviour and interpret it in a negative way.

"For instance if you bump into someone on foot, a quick smile or 'oops' is all that is needed to show it was accidental. However, when in the car, with the absence of cues, people are much more likely to react in an aggressive manner than in other 'public' situations."

Dr Sullman advises: "You can choose not to let it rile you and instead deal with the situation in a positive way, such as concentrating on driving safely yourself or realising that everyone makes mistakes."

Tim Bailey safety expert for Continental Tyres added: "Avoiding the stop-start of harsh braking and acceleration associated with aggressive driving saves energy and improves the flow of traffic, reducing journey times which in turn should make motorists happier."

Getting a blast of the horn from another driver is the most common form of aggression, followed by being 'tailgated' and having someone brake hard in front of you.