Drive like a Swede: Swedish drivers least likely to suffer from road rage, whilst UK drivers are seeing red

  • The UK has the third most impatient, angry and stressed drivers in Europe, according to new research released by Ikano Bank
  • Swedish drivers say they are least likely to feel angry and impatient at the wheel, despite spending the most amount of time in traffic
  • Italians say they are the most angry, stressed and impatient drivers

Ikano Bank, the Swedish bank based in Nottingham, commissioned the Europe-wide survey to explore the differences between attitudes to driving in different nations.

According to the results, almost 4 in 10 UK drivers (38%) said they regularly felt angry behind the wheel, while 6 in 10 (62%) confessed to News UK Drive like a swefeeling impatient. Half of UK drivers also reported feeling stressed when driving, with women more likely to say so (55%) than men (47%).

By contrast, in Sweden, 3 in 10 drivers (30%) said they regularly got angry in the car and less than half (48%) said they sometimes felt impatient. Stress levels are also lower, with 50% of women and just 43% of men affected. This is despite Swedish drivers spending the most amount of time stuck in traffic than any other nation. Almost half of Swedish drivers said they spent more than four hours in traffic jams each week and 11% said they spend more than 10 hours. This compares with just 13% and 1% respectively in the UK.

Germany and the Netherlands also fared well for levels of anger, impatience and stress, with the Netherlands showing particularly low levels of stress (35%). However German drivers declared themselves a little more impatient than Swedes with 56% admitting to getting frustrated behind the wheel.

Italy’s drivers admitted to being the angriest (45%), most impatient (67%) and most stressed (60%) with Spain in a close second place in all categories other than impatience, where French drivers are second with 61%. The survey also looked at levels of road rage in the UK’s 10 biggest cities, and drivers in Newcastle declared themselves the angriest with 41% of drivers admitting to regularly feeling cross, followed closely by Sheffield (40%) and Manchester and Cardiff (both 39%) tied for third.

Liverpool led the way as the calmest driving city, with 16% regularly feeling angry, followed by Bristol (27%) and Nottingham (31%). Simon Ripton, Head of Direct to Consumer at Ikano Bank, said: “We in the UK have long been famous for our capacity for waiting patiently in queues, but these results show that we could learn something from Sweden.

“With 1 in 10 Swedish people saying they sit in traffic for more than 10 hours per week, it’s obvious that they are not having an easier time of it on the roads – so it’s clearly something to do with the Swedish attitude towards driving.

”Sweden is often cited for offering an excellent work-life balance with fewer people working long hours and more of an emphasis on family life as a priority, and this could have a lot to do with the way people feel when they get behind the wheel.

”At this time of the year, when the new car registrations are released, we see a surge in requests for personal loans from those looking to buy new cars. With our Swedish heritage, we want to make things as simple as possible for our customers, which is why we were interested in comparing the experience our customers are having on the roads.

”We think there’s a lot to be said for the Swedish way of life. With that in mind, we’ve launched our ‘Drive Like a Swede’ competition, where we’re going to give away advanced driver courses to 100 car loan customers with the aim of making their experience on the road just that little bit better.”