Road ragers show little respect for the dead

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It seems that even the dead are not safe from road rage, with more than half of all drivers saying they have seen funeral processions fall foul of bad behaviour from other motorists.

The corteges in question fell victim to other drivers cutting into the procession, playing music loudly or overtaking aggressively.
One in six motorists even saw the slow-moving cavalcades be on the receiving end of more disrespectful actions, including rude hand gestures, verbal abuse or other threatening behaviour.

The research, conducted by Co-operative Funeralcare, found that motorists' claimed attitudes were at odds with this disrespectful attitude though, with three in four drivers saying they would pull over to let the slow-moving hearses past, while nine out of 10 say they would remain respectfully behind.

Processions are still required to adhere to the Highway Code in the same way as every other motorist, but the survey of 2,088 respondents showed that levels of respect have fallen dramatically, with one in 12 drivers unaware that they should not break into the line of cars or sound their horn at them. As many as 25 percent would not let a hearse past as a sign of respect.

Funeral directors themselves have said that one in five processions are now directly disrupted by other road users.

"The situation has got increasingly worse over the years, with more traffic on today's roads and people's busier lifestyles," said David Collingwood, operations director for The Co-operative Funeralcare.

"Other road users tend to be so impatient nowadays and their main concern is get to their end destination as quickly as possibly, regardless of other traffic on the road."

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger also commented on the study, saying: "With the increasing pace and pressure that people feel in life, it is not surprising that there is less respect and patience for funeral processions, with the perceived delay they represent. All drivers should be prepared to show tolerance towards other traffic – which includes behaving respectfully around a funeral procession."

The following advice was given for anyone who comes across a funeral procession.