A DRIVING instructor in Worcester says “intimidation has become a lot more common” on the roads, following a damning RAC survey.

More than one in three respondents to the RAC's driver survey said “illegal, anti-social or dangerous behaviour on the part of other drivers” remains their greatest fear behind the wheel, with 30 per cent witnessing physical altercations in the past year.

Vanessa Fewtrell, who has spent half of her 27 years as an instructor in Worcester, cited growing societal pressures, poor road planning and fewer police as factors in growing problems.

In 2017, fellow Worcester instructor Lee Francis released dashcam footage alleging a motorist had “tried to strangle” him.

Mrs Fewtrell said: “I have been doing the job 27 years, 13 down in Dorset, and have seen quite a lot. There have always been impatient people but it has got a lot worse over the past six or seven years.

“Intimidation has become a lot more common and I think part of the problem is that everyone is in such a rush, we live in a 24/7 society.

“With all of the technology and comforts in cars people also feel invincible, safer and sometimes anonymous.

"I remember teaching a lady from Droitwich and we were coming into Worcester, we were doing 60 mph which was the speed limit and got overtaken stupidly with something coming the other way.

"He cut in and braked really hard, it really upset the learner and it took me a good 10 minutes to persuade her to carry on with her lesson.

“People have to realise the roads are crowded and they are not going to get any better.

“Better road planning and proper infrastructure before building too many houses would help, also people don’t feel they are doing any wrong until they get caught.

"They don’t see breaking the law on the road, breaking speed limits or intimidating other drivers as a problem until they get caught – it is a totally different culture on the roads.

"The traffic department has been cut and cut and cut, you rarely see anything other than a normal patrol car now and they don’t have the time to stop and deal with traffic offences.

"We need more awareness that driving stupidly, cutting people up, cause them to have an issue or shout at them can really affect a learner, it is stressful enough to learn in today’s traffic anyway without more pressure upon them.”

The RAC's annual Report on Motoring report said that almost half of the 1,753 drivers surveyed claim to have seen verbal abuse dished out to another motorist this year, while 60 per cent of drivers say they see a greater number of road-rage incidents now than they did 10 years ago.