For millions of Americans, driving isn’t a casual pastime but a necessity. We have to get to work, school, run errands, transport family members hither and yon, and that means using a vehicle on public roads. That’s increasingly more frustrating as inconsiderate, rude, aggressive, or just plain thoughtless other drivers make driving more of a headache than it needs to be. But who are these drivers who so blatantly enrage us? In a new report, Expedia looks at the top five most hated drivers on the road. The question is, are you one of them?
The Expedia 2015 Road Rage report – yes, that’s really the name – calls out the main bad behavior demonstrated by these types of drivers:
The Texter – This is the most hated driver of all. Fully 26 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed said they detest this type of driver on the road.
The Left Lane Hog – While it’s supposed to be the passing lane and not for leisurely cruising, drivers hogging the left lane really increase the ire of 12 percent of the survey respondents. Hey, they could have asked me. This is one of my pet peeves, trying to make some progress on the road and being stymied by this idiot in front of me who just pokes along in a lane where he doesn’t belong.
The Crawler – Right behind the left lane hog as most hated driver is the crawler, whom 10 percent of survey respondents identified as deplorable. Sometimes the crawler is also the left-lane hogger, which really makes my blood rise. And I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
The Multitasker – Last, but certainly not least in terms of how infuriating this type of driver is to the rest of us, is the multitasker. This decidedly inconsiderate behavior was cited by 7 percent of survey respondents as epitomizing one of the most hated drivers.
Lest you think the Expedia 2015 Road Rage report was solely devoted to the types of drivers most hated on the road, it wasn’t. They also looked at the types of in-car behavior that is considered unacceptable – or at least not liked – and found a few surprises, along with some that you’d expect.
Back-Seat Driving – Detested by 52 percent of those surveyed, backseat driving is far and away the biggest gripe for in-car bad behavior. Personally, having transported my fair share of kids and their friends, relatives, and co-workers who’ve occupied the back seat area, I can attest to the validity of this finding. Who wants to hear, “You should have taken the last exit” or “Why don’t you try my way, because it’s faster.”
The Reluctant Co-Pilot – Way behind back-seat driving is the reluctant co-pilot. This person, who is unable or unwilling to help with navigation, accounts for 12 percent of the in-car bad behavior cited by survey respondents. In my experience, however, it’s more of a case that the co-pilot is trying to be too helpful – almost like the back-seat driver in trying to second-guess my decisions. Still, it’s easy to understand how wanting someone to help with directions and such and not getting that cooperation could be annoying.
Radio Hog – Just when you get used to what’s playing on the radio, how disconcerting is it to have a passenger take over the radio controls and change the station? Not only is this rude, it’s just unacceptable behavior for passengers. This should at least be a mutual decision, shouldn’t it? After all, maybe the driver could ask, “Would you rather walk?” I’m only being partly facetious here. In my car, the only radio hog deserves to be me. In the Expedia report, 10 percent found this behavior (hogging the radio) detestable.
The Snoozer – Expedia found that eight percent disliked snoozing behavior in the car. Well, I guess that depends on if and how long and loud the snoozer snores, contorts, or displays other unexpected behavior while you’re trying to drive. I can see situations where the driver and front passenger, especially parents, would eagerly welcome snoozing children. It’s so much quieter during a long summer trip.
The Shoe Remover – The bad in-car behavior listed by seven percent of survey respondents was that of the shoe remover. We’ve all seen people with their unshod feet protruding out the vehicle window and that’s a safety hazard as much as anything else. But for those travelling in the car, the driver included, looking at scruffy socks or dirty feet – much less having to deal with the odor – is just uncalled-for.
The Snacker – Six percent listed the snacker as a bad in-car behavior that got their hackles up. Guess it could depend on what the snacker is eating and whether they’re willing to share. But it could also have to do with the mess the driver usually needs to clean up after the snacker is done munching.
What else can we glean from the Expedia report that will make our summer travels scintillating and less stressful — or, at least give us a laugh? Take a look and see what you think:
- We don’t want to share the road with bad drivers. That’s what 51 percent said. This is more than the combination of cyclists, walkers, joggers, taxis and buses.
- We rate ourselves as “careful” drivers (97 percent) but say only 29 percent of the other drivers on the road are careful.
- Speeding – yes, 21 percent admitted to that, while 69 percent said they’d texted while driving.
- Despite mounting research on the dangers of distracted driving from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and others, particularly using cell phones behind the wheel, 25 percent said they “regularly or occasionally” talk on their cell phone while driving.
- Profanity, rude gestures, exiting the vehicle to engage with another driver – Drivers admitted to doing these types of bad behavior themselves.
- Why we engage in bad driving behavior? Reasons cited included running late and provocation by other drivers.
- Worst cities for bad driving behavior: New York City (42 percent), Los Angeles (32 percent), Chicago (18 percent), Washington, D.C. (16 percent).
Interesting findings, but I think my travel plans will likely include sticking more at home – away from all that deplorable driving behavior so prevalent on the roads today.