Scots keep their calm when they’re on the road

Scots drivers are among the least stressed in the UK.

A third of Brits regularly drive while stressed – and half of them believe other motorists are to blame, a study has found.

The research was conducted by insurers Swinton Group, which has teamed up with road safety charity IAM RoadSmart on a campaign to remind drivers of their road manners in a bid to reduce stress on Britain’s roads this winter.

In a survey of the most stressed drivers in the UK, Scotland came second bottom on the list.

The full list is: 1, London; 2, East of England; 3= Wales, West Midlands, North West; 4, Yorkshire and the Humber; 5, East Midlands; 6, North East; 7, South West; 8, Scotland; 9 South East.

Being tailgated is the biggest cause of anxiety among those polled, while bad weather is top for a further 35 per cent of drivers.

Another one in three admit to getting wound up by cyclists on the road.

And almost four in 10 drivers say their biggest stress trigger is driving on a winding lane with blind bends while 24 per cent can’t deal with passing tractors.

Anne Kirk of Swinton said: ‘e see a sharp increase in calls to our customer service team each year from October and throughout the winter period as drivers navigate tougher driving conditions and busier roads.

‘We know that stressed drivers can contribute to accidents, and we want to play our part in helping reduce the likelihood of incidents on the road.’

Rebecca Ashton, head of driving behaviours at IAM RoadSmart added: ‘The behaviour of others on the road has a significant impact on the stress levels felt by motorists, so we’re encouraging drivers to remember their road manners.

‘Stress can affect how we feel physically and emotionally and, as a result, can impair our judgement and our reactions.

‘Courtesy costs nothing, and tailgating or making sudden decisions, like braking and swerving, will frustrate other drivers and distract you.

‘Aggressive driving is not safe, so if you feel agitated, you should always stop driving.’

The study, of more than 2,000 adults, found women are more likely than men to let something on the road stress them out.

The top 10 causes of driving stress are:

1, Being tailgated (i.e. another driver being very close behind me); 2, Poor driving decisions by other drivers (e.g. speeding); 3, Bad road surfaces (e.g. potholes); 4, Winding lanes with blind bends (i.e. bends I cannot easily see around); 5, Bad weather (e.g. heavy rain, etc); 6, Passing cyclists on the road; 7, A lack of road lighting; 8, It being too sunny (i.e. sun shining in my eyes when driving); 9, Passing horses on the road; 10, Passing tractors on the road.