A guide to modern motoring etiquette

Do you get cheesed off when other drivers don’t use their indicators? Does it make your blood boil when people park inconsiderately or block you in? If the answer is a resounding “YES!” our latest research has found that you’re probably not alone.

We polled 2,000 British adult motorists to find out their top driving irritations and to highlight the importance of being considerate to other road users. But in amongst the usual suspects like tailgating and speeding, it seems modern-day pet peeves like texting at the wheel and taking selfies in traffic are quickly climbing the list of annoying habits.

As a result of the survey, Kwik Fit set about creating a guide to modern motoring etiquette to expose the bad habits of driving that other road users hate the most. But rather than play out these scenarios with irate, potty-mouthed grown ups, we had some help from some altogether more loveable, innocent drivers...

Britain's Top 20 Modern Day Driving Irritations

Over half (57%) of Brits surveyed said that being tailgated by other road users is the biggest driving annoyance, whilst aggressive driving (55%) and failing to indicate (53%) also grinds their gears and make up the top 3.

Here are the results of our survey in full revealing what really gets on our wick in 2017:

Rank Irritation % of Drivers
#2Aggressive driving55%
#3Not indicating53%
#4Inconsiderate parking50%
#5Texting at the wheel47%
#6Lack of courtesy (not thanking fellow road users)46%
#7Changing lanes at the last second45%
#8Littering - throwing junk out of the window43%
#9Hogging the middle lane41%
#10Last minute braking40%
#11Dawdling drivers32%
#12Using social media while driving31%
#15Not obeying the 'right of way' signs29%
#16Not letting other cars in a lane28%
#17Horn-happy drivers e.g. beeping the horn at traffic lights27%
#18Not giving pedestrians right of way at a zebra crossing25%
#19Taking selfies while in traffic24%
#20Road users being rude to cyclists19%

And yet it seems we are unaware of our own bad habits on the road - Nine in ten (93%) Brits believe that other drivers are to blame and are oblivious to other road users, whereas nine in ten (95%) respondents believed themselves to be respectful road users!

How to be a kinder driver

So, if we’re all doing so much to annoy other drivers, how can we try to be better, kinder drivers?

1. Stop being so horn-happy

Horns should only be used to alert other drivers of your presence – in order to avoid an accident. Pressing your horn just to get someone to hurry up is a great way to get them to slow down. If a car has stopped ahead and is causing traffic, there’s probably something wrong with their car. Beeping at them isn’t going to suddenly repair their blocked exhaust.

Just have patience. Plan for your journey to take longer than it should.

2. Stop texting at the wheel

Not only is texting while driving illegal, but could land you in a serious accident. These days, there’s not really an excuse either. With modern phones, speech-to-text algorithms are pretty accurate – so if you need to stay connected every waking second, learn how to communicate through your phone with just the power of your voice.

3. Park considerately

Nobody likes the guy who stands a centimeter away from them in the lift. If you imagine at any point that you might be that guy, then it’ll help you park better. Whenever you’re parking anywhere, take a second to look at the cars around you and establish whether you would have enough space to get into the other car.

Likewise, having a conversation in front of the lift doors means people can’t get in and out. Don’t park like that. Be considerate of how your parking affects everyone else’s safe passing, entrance, and exits, and you’re unlikely to have rage-notes written on the back of receipts and left under your windscreen wipers.

4. Avoid digital distractions

You may consider yourself a multi-tasking wizard, but the law doesn’t. Taking selfies, looking at social media, or any other number of things that keep your eyes off the road are huge hazards.

The thing is that you may be a great driver when it comes to the mechanics, but the majority of driving is keeping an eye on what’s happening around you, so that you can respond to it. Don’t risk your life, or that of those around you, for a selfie.

5. Be nice

When you see people waiting, it’s nice to let them go if doing so doesn’t hold up traffic significantly on your side. Drive in a way that you would like everyone else to drive, and the motoring world will be a better place for it.

Your etiquette is fine, but your car isn’t?

If you’re holding people up all the time due to unexpected stalling, inconsistent braking, or any other problem with your car, let our experts see what the problem is. The technicians at your local Kwik Fit centre are always on hand to help – for service you can rely on, contact your local Kwik Fit centre today.

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