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Are mums with 4WDs Australia's worst drivers?

It's official. Don't mess with mums who drive 4WDs.

A new study by insurer AAMI has found that mums who drive 4WD vehicles are 'aggressive' and 'impatient'. The study looked at driving behaviours of Aussie motorists and found drivers of people movers are the most aggressive on our roads and almost two thirds of these drivers are women aged 25-49.

4WD drivers are most likely to:

– Have had an accident in the last five years because of their own impatience;

– Consider themselves to be an impatient driver;

– Have become angry with the actions of another driver and tailgated them;

– Yell or swear at another driver for doing something they thought was rude or dangerous;

– Ignore restricted speed limits in places like suburban roads or outside schools;

– Gesture rudely at another driver they think was doing something rude or dangerous.

The survey also found that drivers of black cars are more aggressive than the owners of any other colour car.

AAMI spokesperson Reuben Aitchison said, "Getting aggro on the road won't get you to your destination any faster, and the same rules apply to us all."

True.

But, in our defence (yes, I am a 4WD driver)…

There are a lot of crazy drivers on our roads who do annoying things and they always seem to occur when I'm running late to take my kids to school or one of my children is busting to use the toilet, despite me asking them repeatedly before we left the house if they needed to go and them repeatedly insisting that they definitely did not need to wee.

I live near a busy road that is too dangerous to turn right onto so I always turn left. Do you know how many times I am stuck behind some idiot who tries to turn right, blocking me for ages and risking his life and the lives of the fast-moving traffic he is trying to turn into?

At my son's school the kiss-and-drop area is clearly marked. We've all received several notices. It's not hard. We pull up and our children exit from the left. They need to be able to open and close their own door and should have their bag with them. We don't get out of the car. We pull up at the BEGINNING of the area, not the end so we block other vehicles. If something goes wrong, we go back around and park.

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Do you know how many parents disregard these well-thought-out rules? It's endlessly frustrating. Follow the rules people. I have to get to work!

And why are parking spaces so narrow? Is it just me or are they getting more and more narrow? Even drivers of small vehicles struggle. Shops are so desperate to cram as many vehicles into their centres as possible that the squeeze us all in together. Myy car that was recently damaged while parked at a shoping centre. Thank goodness they had CCTV footage of the incident.

I think this report by AAMI is timely. Mums who drive 4WDs do need to calm down on our roads. Breathe deeply, accept you'll be late, be patient and forgiving while driving and remember that your children are watching and listening to your behaviour.

At the end of the day it takes very little to become involved in an accident – just a little bump, a sideswipe, a moment of distraction. I definitely need to heed this advice.

Let's make a pledge:

I, Jo Abi (insert your name here) swear to drive more mindfully exercising endless patience and forgiveness on our roads. I will not indulge in swearing or rude gestures particularly if my children are in the car with me. I will accept that if I am running late there is nothing I can do about it and rushing just puts us and other road users in danger. I will leave my handbag and phone on the back seat at all times so I am not tempted to check my emails and text messages at red lights. I will not tailgate and I will follow the clear rules of areas such as kiss-and-drop at schools and pre-schools because I am not a moron. Oh, and when I damage another vehicle in a carpark I will leave a note with a real number because they will find me anyway. Someone is always watching!

What driving behaviours do you need to stop?

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