posted 6 years ago Survey Finds Out What Driving Habits Most Annoy You

More than 350 people took part in our survey to find out what driving habits annoy us most!

More than 350 people took part in our survey to find out what driving habits annoy us most! Participants were asked to give ‘driving habits’ a score from one to five based on how annoying they felt the habit was. A score of one meant they found the habit ‘not annoying’ and a score of five meant they found it ‘very annoying’.

The habits

All participants were quizzed on 10 different habits, which were as follows:
  • Signalling late or not signalling at all
  • Tail-gating your car
  • Driving too slowly
  • Driving too fast
  • Using the phone when driving
  • Hogging lanes on the motorway
  • Not saying thank you for giving way
  • Leaving the high beams on
  • Taking up two parking spaces
  • Being ‘cut up’
The results

The first thing to point out is that the overall average score for all 350 participants across all 10 habits was 3.94 out of five. This means we either found 10 very annoying habits, or people are generally very annoyed by other people’s driving habits when on the road. But who lets other people’s actions get to them most?

Battle of the sexes

Interestingly, the survey found that women were more annoyed than men across ALL 10 of the habits, with an average of 4.16 compared to 3.91 for the men. Women were most annoyed by people tail-gating their cars (4.63), with men more annoyed by people hogging the middle lane (4.33). Men and women were least annoyed by people driving too fast, with women scoring 3.55 and men 3.19.

The full results are here:

Battle of the ages

The survey also considered age brackets, which were as follows:

19 – 25
26 – 30
31 – 39
40 – 49
50 – 59

The results showed that 26–30 year olds are most annoyed at the wheel, with a total score of 4.02, the least annoyed group were the 50–59 year olds with 3.91.

In each individual age group there were some similarities and differences. All age groups apart from the over 60s were least annoyed by driving too fast, with the latter being least annoyed with people not saying thank you. It is in the most annoying habits where we see the biggest differences, with 19–25 and 26-30 annoyed by middle lane hogging, 31-39 by bad signalling, 40–49 by being cut up and 50–59 and 60+ were both most annoyed by tail-gating.

Here is the table of results below for all the scores out of five.
Habit Bad Signal -ling Tail
Using the Phone Lane hogg -ing Not saying thank you Leav -ing High Beams On Bad
Park -ing
‘Cut Up’
Men 4.16 4.31 3.53 3.19 4.22 4.33 3.48 3.89 3.73 4.25
Women 4.20 4.51 3.69 3.46 4.17 4.23 3.87 3.94 4.02 4.46
19 – 25 All 3.88 3.66 3.55 2.77 3.88 4.05 3.5 3.83 3.77 4.33
26 – 30 All 3.83 4.08 3.83 2 3.75 4.33 3.41 4.25 3.25 4.08
31 – 39 All 4.55 4.28 3.71 3.11 3.91 4.24 3.68 3.82 3.75 4.28
40 – 49 All 4.14 4.24 3.65 3.22 4.12 4.23 3.76 3.98 3.77 4.30
50 – 59 All 4.09 4.28 3.48 3.29 4.18 4.42 3.44 3.89 3.76 4.24
60+ All 4.13 4.59 3.38 3.42 4.56 4.32 3.28 3.77 3.78 4.27

Good survey, well structured, and good to see the data published not just a few conclusions. It all shows we care a lot about our driving comfort and our own time on the roads. If you go to Germany the lane discipline is much stricter and better, but fuelled by immense impatience if you get it wrong and hold people up.

Most of these faults are caused by bad but mostly inconsiderate driving, this is a result of the last government dumbing down the driving test, at that time most people were passed quiet quickly and got on the road making tax for the greedy government. The majority of faults listed are inconsiderate driving like driving at 30 mph in a 60 mph zone holding up many other drivers who are on business, which causes the tail gating problem, this is caused by the last government slowing down commerce by reducing the passing places on our roads, so if you are being tail gated I would suggest that you are holding up traffic by not using the mirror, and not being aware of the tail of vehicles behind you. It would be nice for drivers who do not want to go at the maximum speed of the road to pull over every so often and let drivers on comer pass.

Most annoying are those who feel their daily duty is to block up the roundabouts in Aberdeen on their way to and from work in the rush hour. These selfish morons obviously don't have the brains to wonder what might happen should an ambulance or fire engine need through for an emergency. One day last year though a police traffic car stopped and booked everyone who was blocking the passage of through traffic. Made my day. I hope the penalties were high.

the most annoying driving habit i find frustrating is when reaching road works on a motorway with a speed limit of lets say 50 m.p.h. people will slow down to well below that speed limit to around 35-40 mph ,and they cant understand why people are getting frustrated behind them doing such slower speeds can cause others to take risks trying to pull out ,i say if a driver wants to travel at that sort of speeds then they should be looking for routes saying scenic routes for them to wonder along on willy nilly...zzzzzz

@Mike Hanley: Where is the rule that states when you must do this? Sometimes you won't let me in from the back and I have to come all the way to the front then wait for you to get out of my way and let someone courteous AT LAST let me in!

What a lot of people don't appreciate is that heavy goods vehicles have their speed restricted to 60 mph. Also the drivers hours are restricted. When a motorist poodles along at 56 mph in the inside lane this causes further congestion in the middle lane when the HGV attempts to overtake.

The person who most infuriates me is the one on the motorway, when the signs are clearly indicating a lane closure, insists on staying in the outside lane until almost reaching the cones, then expecting someone to stop and let them in, adding to the tailback.

In reply to John Fitzpatrick : not all of them. Whilst I know I am not a perfect driver I do at least try. Leaving safe distance from car in front, adhering to speed limits, using left hand lanes on motorways, using those pretty orange flashy light things included in the spec of my car (but apparently not a included on all vehicles) to advise others of my intentions, using that mirror thing in the middle of the windscreen to check behing me before pulling out into traffic, NOT accelerating up to red lights and then slamming on my brakes to stop six inches from the car that is patiently waiting there ..... I could go on. When I was learning to drive my step-father said to me "remember you are in control of a lethal weapon", perhaps if we all drove with that in mind the roads would be a much safer place!

I'm no slouch on the road, but refuse to be intimidated by aggressive drivers. I get out of their way when its free and safe to do so to avoid running up back of lorry scenario. If they get really bad I just slow down a bit which tends to infuriate them all that bit more... their trip to A&E not mine!

I can't understand this 'hogging' the middle lane nonsense. Isn't that what lane 3 is there for? I'd like to think that I use lane 1 when it is reasonably free but what drives me fit to kill is being flashed to GET OUT OF MY WAY and against my better judgement pulling into lane 1 with a lorry only 100m away doing 55 mph and the angry flasher slowly slowly overtaking me leaving me trapped behind the lorry. If I have the audacity to indicate and pull out, the flasher goes bananas. If I have the courtesy to get out of his - tis usually a man, the least he can do is put his impatient foot down and overtake me before I run up behind the truck.

I wonder how many of the very annoyed people have done the same thing(s) themselves?

Not indicating Not thanking and tailgating on motorways car jumping too soon so that the car in front is too close....we all want to get home!

I've just been overtaken by a 'female' driver in her people carrier. Doesn't sound too bad, until I tell you that I was sat at TEMPORARY traffic lights (with the van behind me) waiting for them to change! Let's just say she got off lucky this time, and I'm glad she didn't mow down the lollipop lady (and kids) outside the school that the lights were positioned, or hit any oncoming traffic for that matter. So, in which case, IGNORANCE is the most annoying attribute of human behaviour whilst driving (which probably covers all the aspects listed).

All of the above but people driving with front FOG LAMPS on particularly when it is an offence to use them unless visability is below 100 yards. It must be remembered that the beam is not adjustable like head lamps which dip.

Tailgating ... surely more of a contributory factor to road deaths than speeding (last figure I saw speeding was 28%). Strangely no cause of the M5 accident last year has been forthcoming. Blaming a bonfire at the time was indicative of the lack of accountability many drivers accept. I was always taught that you should drive at a speed and leaving a gap large enough that I could stop in if the unexpectd happened. I am also sick of adhering to 30mph limits only to have the following vehicle come up behind me at 35-40 mph and then sit 20 ft from my bumper (I seem to remember the highway code specifies a safe stopping distance of 75ft at 30mph from my driving test in 1979). The worst offenders seem to be parents with children in the car who no doubt campaign for 20mph limits and would demand capital punishment if a driver knocked down their child whilst exceeding the speed limit by 1mph. DRIVE AS YOU WOULD EXPECT OTHERS TO. And where are the police? How many prosecutions have you heard of for tailgating?

I live is a holiday destination visited by 000's of tourists. They don't know where they are or where they're going to and are unaware of other road users. Signalling is an option they refuse to use!

Drivers who dont indicate are the most frustrating thing for me. I try my best not to stop approaching red lights and judge them accordingly as I hate stop starting, which is why i couldnt live in a city centre.

Motorway traffic would flow much more smoothly if the keep to the left rule was observed. with regard to country roads we should adopt the attitude of the people of Ireland. If you see a car approaching in your rear view mirror move as far to the left as possible and most people will overtake safely. There is no shame in yeilding to a faster driver. The UK driver drives on the white line in the centre of the road, oblivious to all behind.

It's not as simple as saying that driving fast is the main cause of accidents, though it will certainly raise the likely seriousness of any accidents that occur. Often those who cause accidents are driving badly in other ways, cutting people up, not taking due care, and of course they are the sort who are likely to be driving too fast for the conditions. Chances are that folk have commented on the other aspects of these idiots above the speed, but that doesn't mean going too fast isn't annoying. Personally, I just get well out of their way and let them get well away from me, so I'm not dragged into any incident they cause!

Hogging lanes drives me nuts and it's not just the middle lane, it can be the outside lane. What is most frustrating (and the most common) is those who wander along in these lanes with lanes to the left completely empty. They appear oblivious to the general principle of keeping to the leftmost lane where possible!

Much dislike drivers making all sorts of obstacles to the motorcyclists. Look, there way too many lunatics amongst drivers than motorcyclists. Just compare the numbers of motorcycles and automobiles on the roads

Much dislike people on the motorway hogging to the left lane seeing other people joining motorway from the slip road and having right lane totally available for them to let people in

Posers who thing it is 'cool' to drive with their front fog lights on, those who forget to switch off their rear fog lights when the fog clears, driving down a slip road and thinking that a right turn signal give them right of way onto the major road and the drivers who will not accept that they are the ones in the wrong.

drving too close, overtaking close to a bend, breaking very last minute! (even with the two second rule, it means the person behind me whom is usally tailgaiting means they have to break quicker.) Also people who overtake learner drivers. so offputting. I qualified november few months after my 17th and always have patience with learner driver in front as i know how horrible it is when people overtake you. Im doing my adavanced driving course now, and its opened my eyes to how many people are so stupid on the road.

Strange the behaviour which causes most accidents ie driving too fast scores less than driving too slow. Bring back the bloke with the red flag, drivers are clearly not up to it. And anuvver, what about sitting at traffic lights wif the car in gear (wearing out the clutch and bearing) holding the car on the brakes with the stop lights shining in the eyes of the driver behind.

What about going slowly up a slip road to join a motorway/dual carriageway -a frequently seen very dangerous habit -drives me nuts

Probably ,most of the points refered to boil down to the fact that respect towards other road users seems to be a thing of the past.

Fine those cyclists (most) who have no regard for any of the rules of the road, who cycle the wrong way up one way streets, who ignore traffic lights, and endanger pedestrians as they mount and dismount pavements without notice. All cyclists should be forced to carry photographic identity at all times so they can be stopped and fined for cycling without care and attention.

high on my list but not mentioned in your top 10 is drivers chucking out litter as they drive long as their little space is clean who cares about the bigger picture....

Going through red lights! Why aren't there mini networked web cameras on all traffic lights?

the selection of habits and reuslts are not surprising but: two major omissions in terms of driving habits were not measured 1. not signalling properly at roundabouts 2. moving out to the right before turning left at a junction...increasingly experienced but never seems to get a mention as a bad habit...only articulated lorries should do this!

As for lane hogging, if so many people are annoyed by it, how come so many drivers do it? Even so called "professional drivers". It just turns a 3-lane motorway in to a dual carraigeway and, worst still, a dual carraigeway to single. Fine them.

Baby on board stickers annoy me.......what does it really mean? may i suggest 'Brains in Boot!'

The most annoying thing for me is motorbikes thinking that the Highway Code has no relevance to them and then all the publicity saying 'Think Bike' when they never think once.

It all goes to show what an ill mannered and undisciplined lot we Brits are. And we think that foreigners are bad drivers!!!! Go live or holiday in Cyprus if you want to find bad driving habits!

A habit of mine that really annoys people is trying my best to comply with 30mph speed limits!

being a biker when cars don't indicate when turning left is annoying,or just leaving them on when a left turn is coming up that drives me nuts! then we got the folk who talk with their hands whist driving! we know they are out there! keep yer hands on the wheel and concentrate please

Lane hogging.There are clowns out there who refer to "the fast lane".In this Country there is no such thing---there is the overtaking lane with a second such lane on a 3-lane motorway to assist traffic flow.The Highway Code tells You drive on the nearside- most lane having overtaken a slower vehicle.

Pulling out AND THEN signalling is more than annoying it is positivly dangerous and is my number one

The most annoying habit on a main road is that of the preceding driver giving way to every side-road car possible when there is a massive gap behind me. THis serves to waste fuel while we all wait, and actually slows the whole thoroughfare up,, it is easiest to see this if the main road is considered as a conveyor on the move, each time it rolls to a sopt the last cars entering the road get more and more behind whilest the cars joining the stream do not suffer greatly by joining the traffic stream as and when they can. As an autoimation engineer this stopping and starting on main roads has been a source of annoyance for years and wastes considerable time and resources.

Why is the picture of a man in A LEFT HAND DRIVE CAR?

That looks like me this morning Ha!