Tailgating is top of drivers’ pet hatesFollowing too close is motorists' biggest bugbear

24 December 2011

Car tailgating

22% of those polled said tailgating was their biggest driver irritation

Motorists say tailgating is their biggest pet hate when behind the wheel.

A poll conducted by Which? in a recent blog post on Which? Conversation discovered that almost a quarter of drivers find other motorists following too close behind the biggest irritation.

Tailgating, using mobile phones and hogging lanes

A significant 22% of the 1,006 people polled on their biggest pet hates about other motorists selected tailgating as their most annoying driver trait.

A total of 224 people opted for tailgating over a range of different frustrating driver habits. 

The results reflect the news that rear bumper crashes rose by 9% in the UK in second half of 2010 and first half of 2011, causing insurance premiums to rise.

Drivers on mobile phones accounted for 20% (199 votes) of those polled, and another 19% (192 voters) said road users hogging motorway lanes frustrated them most.

Lane hogging on motorway

Drivers using their mobile phones and hogging lanes on motorways followed closely

The results of our poll were not in-line with another recent survey by Confused.com, which found failing to indicate was people’s biggest irritant on the road (35% of 2,000 drivers polled).

Just 14% (141 voters) in our poll selected poor indication as their biggest pet hate.

Anticipate and stay calm

David Evans, senior car researcher at Which?, who wrote the initial Which? Conversation post, has some recommendations about how to deal with irritating driver habits.

"My years behind the wheel and undergoing advanced driver training courses have taught me two things for such circumstances. 

"The first is to try to anticipate when the actions of other road users might be hazardous to my safety.

"The second is to remain clam, even when something unexpected does happen.”

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