More than two-thirds of Kiwis have experienced the wrath of enraged drivers on the road, with half experiencing road rage within the past 12 months.

A survey commissioned by BP New Zealand and led by TRA uncovered 71 per cent of New Zealand drivers had experienced road rage.

General manager of AA Driving School Roger Venn said the number seemed high compared to their own numbers but challenged drivers.

"It depends on what your definition of road rage is ... from our AA quarterly survey only 16 per cent said they'd experienced [a road rage incident]," he said.


"Try and act if you're in the supermarket; if you're queuing for the till and someone cuts in front of you - you're not going to start throwing cans of beans at each other.

"Pretend you're not in your car and you're queuing at the store - would you act the same there? No, probably wouldn't."

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. Photo / File
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. Photo / File

Previously, Kiwis have highlighted congestion as an onset for road rage with the AA Congestion Report 2018 showing Aucklanders spent 80 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said it's easy to get angry over inconsiderate or dangerous driving but public transport would ease the struggle.

He said $28 billion is being poured into transport infrastructure, with Government help, over the next decade to deliver better public transport around the city.

"Every person we can get out of a car and into public transport by making it convenient, accessible and reliable is one less car on the road clogging up our motorways," he said.

"It's great that we marked the 100 millionth passenger trip on public transport this month, it shows we're making progress, but with the city growing by an additional 40,000 people a year we have to do even more."

In the survey, an improvement in drivers' mood was found in 85 per cent of people when they became the recipient of thanks on the road.


However, only 37 per cent felt they are shown the same amount of gratitude by others with 89 per cent reporting they thanked others regularly.

The most common technique used to thank another driver is a wave, the survey found, with 85 per cent admitting it was their way to say thanks.

Meanwhile, more than 50 per cent said they smile to show gratitude with other options including a finger lift, a toot, high-beams or a flick of the hazard lights.

Survey respondents came from a nationally representative spread across age, gender and region, had to hold a current driver's licence and drive at least twice a week.

Fieldwork took place from March 11 to March 15 and 1008 New Zealanders responded.

Key findings from the BP survey

• 71 per cent of New Zealanders experienced road rage and more than half of them have experienced it in the last 12 months.

• 95 per cent surveyed consider themselves courteous drivers.

• When thanked on the road, 85 per cent of those surveyed said their mood improved.

• Despite 89 per cent of Kiwi drivers saying they show thanks to other drivers regularly, only 37 per cent feel they are shown the same amount of gratitude in return.

• A wave is used to say thanks by 85 per cent of Kiwi drivers while more than 50 per cent say they smile to show thanks. Other options include a finger lift, a toot, high-beams, or a quick flick of the hazard lights.