Tailgating appears to be the biggest cause of road rage among drivers on Which? Conversation. It came out on top in our poll of drivers’ biggest pet hates, but what else winds you up?
Dave Evans’ Conversation on bad driver habits prompted over 150 comments and 1,006 poll votes. So what’s driving you round the bend?
Almost a quarter of voters picked out motorists following too close behind – or tailgating – as their biggest irritant. This tallies with last year’s research from Admiral Insurance, showing that rear bumper crashes rose by 9% in the second half of 2010 and first half of 2011. Commenter Ed-first explains why tailgating is such a sin:
‘Setting yourself above others and actively pursuing this egocentric approach on the roads is dangerous in itself and gives rise to so many other risks. After being aggressively tailgated for instance, how long is it before you return your full attention to the road and begin to properly anticipate hazards again?’
Mobile phones and bad indication
Drivers using mobile phones was the second biggest irritant, accounting for 20% of your votes, suggesting that tougher penalties imposed in 2007 have failed to deter all motorists from using their phones behind the wheel.
Howard Danby can’t fathom out why drivers are still using mobiles in their cars:
‘You’d think that if they can afford x-thousands of pounds for a car then a couple of quid for hands-free Bluetooth set wouldn’t break the bank.’
Other road users hogging motorway lanes came in the third spot, with bad indication following close behind. This is contrary to the results of Confused.com’s survey last year, however, where 35% chose drivers failing to indicate as their biggest grievance on the road. Just 14% of Which? Conversation voters picked this option, but commenter Tony P thinks indication education needs to improve:
‘If these things are still being taught they are very rapidly being forgotten! All too many drivers these days seem to think that direction indicators are to be used to confirm that they are actually turning rather than to give advance notice of an intent.’
Putting the brakes on road rage
Other frustrations that riled Which? Convo readers included slow drivers, not letting other cars out of side roads at junctions, undertaking and litter being thrown out of car windows. But commenter ‘Just me’ gets annoyed when courtesy isn’t reciprocated:
‘It riles me and makes my blood boil if my courtesy is not recognised by other drivers, e.g. if I wave on a driver to join the queue I am in and they don’t acknowledge me with a wave, a flash of their lights or their indicators. I do it – and you appreciate it when it is done for you. Some people don’t think and are inconsiderate drivers.’
In situations of such sheer rage, Which? Car’s Dave Evans has these words of advice:
‘My years behind the wheel and undergoing advanced driver training courses have taught me two things for such circumstances.
‘The first is to try to anticipate when the actions of other road users might be hazardous to my safety. The second is to remain clam, even when something unexpected does happen.’
So do the results of our poll line up with your driver pet hates? Or is it more about being tolerant of other drivers’ bad habits? Or perhaps the results of our poll will make you look closer at your driving habits, like Louis:
‘One benefit of this discussion is that it has caused me to relook at my driving habits. I never realised that some of the things that I do may annoy others. This can only make me a better driver.’