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A recent poll conducted by Which? Conversation has revealed that tailgating is the biggest cause of road rage amongst drivers, with almost one quarter of voters picking this out as their biggest bug irritant. Not only is tailgating highly aggravating, it is also very dangerous, with Admiral Insurance revealing last year that rear bumper crashes have risen by 9 per cent in the second half of 2010 and the first half of 2011.
Another annoying habit which winds motorists up and causes general stress and angst on the road is mobile phone usage. This accounted for 20 per cent of the votes and suggested that tougher penalties imposed in 2007 have failed to deter motorists from actually stopping using their mobiles when behind the wheel.
One of the ways to combat the problem is for people to start investing in hands-free Bluetooth sets which have come down significantly in price in recent years. It is also very common for Bluetooth devices to be pre-installed in a large range of new cars to save drivers even further hassle. In fact, Ford has just released a system known as the Ford SYNC which allows motorists to send and receive text messages via a hands-free, voice activated Bluetooth device.
Another contender for the worst habits behind the wheel was middle lane hogging, a very popular past time by those motorists who wish to cruise along the motorway without changing lanes. Further grievances included failing to indicate, with many people feeling irritated by the fact that motorists very often use their indicators at the very last minute to indicate they are turning. Slow drivers were also listed as a particular bug bear by some road users as well as drivers who fail to let other traffic out of side roads.
In fact, some people went so far as to say that they become riled when simple courtesy on the road is not reciprocated – if you let someone out, why can’t they acknowledge you’ve done them a favour? Failure to perform a simple hand gesture or a flash of someone’s lights can wind a motorist up something chronic and is seen by many drivers as simple road user etiquette.
The key to all these annoying habits is to try to remain calm when something winds you up and not let it affect the safety of you or your passengers. Anticipating when the actions of road users might be hazardous is an important factor towards remaining safe at all times when behind the wheel.
Do all the results of the above poll cover your own driver pet hates? If not, why not write and tell us about what really winds you up when it comes to tolerating the behaviour of other drivers on the road.