Many motorists most annoyed by texting and driving

Engaging in activities that diminish driving safety is one of the top issues American drivers have with their fellow motorists.

According to a recently released survey conducted by Consumer Reports*, motorists who text or talk on a cellphone while they’re behind the wheel was ranked as the biggest gripe the average driver has with others.

The researchers discovered this after asking a random sample of nearly 900 Americans to score 20 different behaviors considered leading pet peeves for American motorists. On a scale of 1 to 10—one meaning the activity did not bother them at all, 10 indicating it bothered them tremendously—the respondents gave each behavior a corresponding number.

Texting ranked as most annoying behavior

Almost two-thirds of individuals polled indicated texting or talking on a cellphone as a 10, as the average score it received was 8.9. Closely following this bothersome activity was individuals who have no apparent physically limiting disabilities parking in handicapped spaces, averaging 8.7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Tailgaters, drivers who cut others off in traffic and motorists who speed at an excessive rate rounded out the top five.

Older drivers more irritated by blasting radio volumes

While these were the most common gripes the average motorist had, there was some variation among the respondents depending on their ages. For instance, drivers who play their radios at high decibels were one of the 20 most annoying behaviors. However, younger drivers—those under 35 years old—were less bothered by this activity than older drivers were. What did bother younger drivers were people who were slow to go when lights turn green at intersections.

There was also a correlation between where people tended to most frequently drive and how perturbed they were by certain driving behaviors. For example, city drivers were most annoyed with slow-moving drivers, individuals who swerved in and out of traffic lanes, jaywalking and limited parking, the poll found. Rural motorists, meanwhile, were more unnerved with drivers who did not turn on their headlights at night or when visibility was limited, such as if it was raining.

*according to Consumer Reports’ National Research Center on February 23, 2012
via Peter Montanez

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