What drives British motorists mad?
June 27, 2017 at 8:18 AM
It is no secret that many of us can adopt completely different personalities when we get behind the wheel of a car. Walk along a busy high street and encounter an elderly lady walking out of a shop door in front of you and you will probably step aside and give her space; but if the same lady pulls out of a side road in your path and causes you to brake, there is a good chance that you will turn the air blue with a stream of invectives.
Old ladies aside, however, there are some specific behaviours that can really make the British motorist's blood boil, and a well-known parking website recently commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 motorists to find out exactly what they are. The participants were asked: “What annoys you most about being a car driver in the UK?” Before you read on, have a think about the question yourself, and then see if your answer is in the top five.
1. Not indicating
Contrary to popular myth, it is not just those who drive certain vehicles of Bavarian origin who feel that their intended direction is nobody's business but their own. As well as incurring the wrath of other road users, a failure to indicate can lead to serious accidents, so it is actually no laughing matter. 72 per cent cited this as their top peeve.
2. Mobile phones
Anyone who watches fly-on-the-wall police TV shows such as Police Interceptors will know that phoning and driving is considered one of the “fatal four” traffic offences. Understandably, the law is cracking down on this harder and harder, and the penalties are significant, but there are enough persistent offenders to make this the second most irritating act, mentioned by 71 per cent of those polled.
3. Bad parking
There is a degree of sympathy with this one, as there is no disputing that cars have got wider over the years, while parking spaces have remained the same size. Nevertheless, there is nothing more annoying than a car perfectly parked across two spaces in a crowded car park. Of course, there are also those who insist on cosying up so close that you can't get your door open. 56 per cent mentioned this one.
4. Traffic jams
There are almost 20 per cent more cars on the road today than there were in 2000. All those vehicles competing for the same piece of tarmac can only lead to queues and bottlenecks. The British are said to like nothing better than a good queue – but not in their cars, it seems, at least where 52 per cent of drivers are concerned.
5. Slow drivers
Speeding might be one of the fatal four, but it is going too far the other way that the average motorist finds more annoying. Of course, we all get stuck behind a slowcoach from time to time, and as well as an irritation, it can lead to a dangerous situation if we are impatient. This one scored 42 per cent.
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