Champion driver shares horrific road rage experience: 'You feel vulnerable'

·News Reporter
·4-min read

"It's you on your bike versus someone with a two-tonne vehicle. You feel very vulnerable in that situation."

This is how 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner David Reynolds, who is surprisingly also a keen cyclist, describes his experience with the ugliness of road rage on the streets of Melbourne.

The Kelly Groving Racing star is just one of thousands of daily road users who find themselves abused by other road users for simply going about their daily business.

His road rage experiences, along with many untold ones, highlight the problems motorists face on the road as a new report by dashcam manufacturer Nextbase reveals the reasons Aussie motorists are turning to new technology to protect themselves from these dangers.

Supercar driver David Reynolds pictured getting into his car. Source: Getty Images
Supercar driver David Reynolds has spoken out against road rage. Source: Getty Images

Daunting road rage dangers revealed

Being an avid cyclist, Reynolds has experienced issues with road rage from drivers rushing around inner Melbourne while out on his bike - either training or going about his daily routine.

"People are always rushing around and it leads to them getting agitated behind the wheel. I've been tooted and abused, sometimes for no real reason," he said.

"These things make a huge difference to anything in everyday life after you experience it." 

David Reynolds driving his race vehicle. Source: Getty Images
David Reynolds is an ambassador for Nextbase's dashcam survey. Source:Getty Images

It's why the issue of road safety is something the eight-time Supercar race winner takes seriously and a reason he believes many drivers are now choosing to install dash cams in their own vehicles. 

“Dashcams make you feel a little bit safer and it allows you to back yourself up,” Reynolds said. 

He also believed their ability to give users more security on the roads could lead them to become a standard feature in new cars in the near future. 

“They ought to become standard. The benefits are huge for every user," Reynolds said. 

Dashcam on the front windscreen. Source.Getty Images
Nextbase's report showed that one in four motorists use a dashcam in their car. Source: Getty Images

Nationwide dashcam debate

The growing threat of road rage for drivers is just one of the big takeaways from Nextbase's report, which polled more than 2,000 Australian motorists about the use of dashcams on Australian Roads.

The State of Australian Roads report revealed nearly 80 per cent of all drivers had experienced some form of road rage and this had led to nearly one in four Australian drivers using a dashcam in their vehicles.

When discussing the issues surrounding road rage, it found drivers were often honked and gestured at or followed by other drivers acting aggressively. 

These issues were something Nextbase managing director Richard Browning felt justified the need for dashcams in today's world. 

“The shift towards understanding the benefits of dashcams is growing and so too is the desire to capture these on-road moments,” Browning said in a statement.

“With an increase of dashcam sales, it’s time to get with the program,” he added.

Calls to make dashcams standard features in cars

With so many drivers now using dashcams to combat everyday issues on the roads, more and more people feel they should be a standard feature in new cars.

The report showed 45 per cent of all respondents felt they should be mandatory for all drivers and fitted in all new vehicles.

Many also felt they would be compelled to install dashcams if they could help with insurance claims, with 80 per cent of respondents saying they would buy one if it offered them an incentive on their premiums. 

Alongside the use of dashcams, David Reynolds also believes raising awareness and educating drivers about the risks of road rage could be the key in reducing the number of incidents on Australian roads.

It’s why he launched his charity Curb The Rage to help combat these issues and has launched initiatives to help drivers stay calm on the roads. 

Reynolds revealed his main aim was to get drivers to think more about their actions behind the wheel.

“Simple things make a huge difference in life. If you learn to rationalise everyone around you, it helps you understand people’s problems,” he said.

Dashcam mounted on windscreen. Source: Getty Images
Nearly half of the participants of a recent survey felt that dashcams should be mandatory in new cars. Source: Getty Images

It's why alongside installing these technologies, Reynolds recommended that drivers change their habits to avoid getting worked up behind the wheel.

One of the suggestions he made was simply starting your journey just a little bit earlier.

"Leaving just ten minutes earlier helps you stay calm behind the wheel," he said.

“It makes a huge difference to help avoid driving mad,” Reynolds added.

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