One in five road users threatened with violence – poll

A road-rage driver deliberately ran over a man after a minor collision between their cars, police said, as a survey highlighted the scale of physical threats on Britain’s roads.

Scotland Yard appealed for witnesses on Monday while the 36-year-old was recovering in hospital from “serious” injuries.

The force said his BMW was involved in a “minor collision” with a foreign-plated Vauxhall Zafira at Gallows Corner roundabout in Romford, east London, at about 4.35pm on Saturday.

A passenger in the Vauxhall smashed the victim’s rear window with a hammer before the driver ploughed into the victim as he stood by his BMW, officers said.

He was thrown onto the bonnet but is not thought to have sustained life-threatening injuries.

The incident came as a survey of 3,000 UK road users found that 18% said they had been threatened with physical violence on UK roads.

Some 11% of road users were involved in a physical altercation while half of road users (53%) – including motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, runners or wheelchair users – had been or felt intimidated while on the roads.

The poll, carried out by Maru and Usurv and commissioned by Auto Trader, also found 67% had experienced tailgating and 41% claimed they had been sworn at or insulted.

Auto Trader has launched a campaign called #SwearToChange aimed at sparking a constructive debate on road equality.

The campaign has been supported by double Olympic gold medal winning cyclist and jockey Victoria Pendleton and British Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman.

Pendleton 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.”

Her words were echoed by Steadman, who said: “I am someone who spends a lot of time running, cycling and driving on UK roads, so it’s alarming to see the statistics on aggression, physical violence and abuse.

“With changes in infrastructure and more people taking up cycling and running, there’s no better time to challenge these attitudes and #SwearToChange.”