2 May 2006

So, What Aggravates You the Most on the Road?

With more than 30 million Americans expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, the Hagerty Collector Network surveyed thousands of members nationwide to uncover America’s “Top 10 Driving Pet Peeves.” The results revealed some surprising, yet common “sins” of the road every American should know as the summer travel season officially begins!

To end the guessing, here are the Top 10 Pet Peeves of the Road, in order of their “irritation index”:

1. Distracted drivers talking on cell phones (Motor Mouths) Americans love to multi-task so it comes as no surprise that drivers drifting into other lanes while dialing, downloading, texting or just good old fashioned phone chatter, makes Motor Mouths the survey’s number one pet peeve.

2. Slow drivers in the fast lane (Turtle Racers) It doesn’t matter to these Turtle Racers that the average traffic flow is 15-20 mph faster than they are traveling; they just “cruise” at their own pace!

3. Pushy drivers who tailgate (Piggybackers) Unless you’re at Daytona racing Dale Jr. for the lead, there’s no reason to climb up another driver’s bumper. Piggybackers should leave the bump-drafting to NASCAR.

4. Drivers who weave through traffic to gain one or two car lengths (Wacky Weavers) These Wacky Weavers employ what’s known as “cut and thrust” motoring techniques, chopping off fellow motorists, changing lanes with abandon – all in an effort to roll up to the next red light 10 seconds before you do.

5. Obnoxious drivers who speed up to keep you from changing lanes (Gap Snatchers) It’s a mystery why these Gap Snatchers, who can clearly see fellow drivers’ signals to change lanes, find it necessary to keep other drivers “in their place.”

6. Hasty drivers who change lanes without signaling (Space Invaders) Over the years, auto manufacturers have refined the operations of that little stalk that extends from every vehicle’s steering column (turn signal duh). Space Invaders obviously haven’t caught on to this radical, cutting-edge technology yet.

7. Road Rage (Road Ragers) We’ve all experienced Road Ragers. These offenders obviously will not stop until you respond to their “need to communicate” which comes in many forms including “sign language” (flipping of the middle finger), the “shout out” (using words that no good Samaritan should say), as well as the ever-popular “Honk-a-holic” (no description needed!)

8. Motorcyclists who race down the middle of a lane, between cars (Speed Racers) This is the kind of behavior that gives some motorcyclists a bad rap. Not surprisingly, some of these Speed Racers end up high-sided, face down on the pavement, but not before they’ve left a new contour on your favorite ride or nearly given you cardiac arrest as they speed in between vehicles.

9. Women applying makeup and men shaving (Driving Divas) Don’t these Driving Divas have indoor plumbing? Please, spare the rest of us and handle personal grooming habits at home.

10. Drivers who leave their turn signal on for miles (Morse Coders) Now let’s be fair. Perhaps these Morse Coders are part of the SETI project, their turn signals beaming out across the galaxies in search of other life forms – or not.

We also had many respondents who came up with their own pet peeve prankster names. Here is a list of them:

Clueless Cruisers: People who drive like they just bought the road, and haven't a clue that anyone else might be using it.

The Egoist: The road is his, so get out of his way or just deal with it.

Fake Outs: People who, while stopped at a red light, don’t have their indicator on but once the light turns green, they hang out in the middle of the intersection waiting to turn left – with you stuck behind them.

Flame Throwers: People throwing lit cigarettes out the window when they are done with them.

Four-Way Fatheads: Those drivers at four-way stop intersections that quickly push ahead before you have (within your rights) completed a turn within, or have exited the intersection.

Inattentives: Persons who wander back and forth or can't seem to maintain a constant speed, gradually slowing down until you try to pass, then suddenly waking up and accelerating.

Leap Froggers: Drivers that pull onto shoulders or entrance ramps to leap frog ahead of their place in stopped traffic.

Monkey-See, Monkey Do’s: Drivers that will only drive at the speed of the car next to them.

Reluctant Rampers: People who enter the expressway so slow that that they endanger other drivers.

Road Readers: People who read the newspaper or a book while driving.

And one particularly funny one: Tighten the nut behind the wheel! Thank you to everyone who wrote in and helped us end the guessing.

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