Driving Pet Peeves Revealed

Life on the road was different when old classics were new. Just in the last decade, the number of cars on the road has increased by 11 percent and the number of miles driven has increased by 35 percent. No matter how you look at it, that means more time spent on the road and more drivers that you have to share it with. Chances are, not all of your driving is pleasurable. In fact, it’s probably rare that you get to enjoy a truly leisurely “Sunday” drive in your collector car, when you compare it to all the running around in your daily driver – to and from work, taking the kids to soccer, going to the grocery store, running errands.

That being said, it’s only natural that you might occasionally get annoyed while you’re driving for whatever reason – maybe you’re on a road full of potholes, or the car in front of you is plastered with ridiculous bumper stickers, or someone cut you off. While it’s easy enough to feel the need to utter a few obscenities when you encounter one of your on-the-road pet peeves in your daily driver, it’s even easier to get your feathers ruffled when you’re in your pride-and-joy collector car. At least you’re not alone – following is the list of what vexes the more than 10,000 fellow enthusiasts who participated in our Network Hobby Survey.

  1. Tailgaters – More than 30 percent of all respondents put those who follow too closely at the top of their gripe list. Don’t they know that you spent days combing junk yards and swap meets for your taillights? Don’t they know that you don’t have airbags or a windshield made of safety glass? Don’t they know how much your car is worth? Nope…and sadly, they probably don’t care. All they know is you’re driving slower than they’d prefer. All you can do is stay in the right lane and hope they pass. If you have the opportunity to pull safely off the road, do so to allow them to pass. Whatever you do, don’t tap your brakes, gesture rudely or do anything else that might incite road rage and possible damage to you and your car.
  2. Bad Roads – This common phenomenon irks 25 percent of those surveyed the most, and it especially irritates New Englanders. While you might want to scream when you hit a pothole big enough to swallow an MG, all you can really do is avoid these roads when possible and drive safely on them when you can’t. Other than that, your only recourse is to pay your taxes and wait, and maybe write a few opinionated letters to your local Department of Transportation to help vent your frustration.
  3. Drivers on Cell Phones – This topped the annoyance list of over 17 percent of respondents, and rightfully so – the distraction caused by chatting on the phone while driving has been credited for numerous accidents and traffic violations. If you see someone on his/her phone while driving, the best thing to do is employ defensive techniques. Think ahead and try to anticipate what other drivers might do. Other than that, you can invest in a bumper sticker that reads “Hang Up and Drive!”
  4. Heavy Traffic – Like we said earlier, there are more cars on the road than there used to be. And more cars means more traffic. This topped the list of about 13 percent of survey takers, especially those living on the West Coast. Really, all you can do to avoid the irritation caused by bumper-to-bumper bedlam is to avoid driving during rush hour, and take seldom traveled back roads, staying clear of major thoroughfares when possible. An added bonus – you’ll probably find better scenery on the road less traveled.
  5. Road Construction – This was the major peeve of about 9 percent of respondents. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil if you want to remedy annoyance number two. The best thing to do is to avoid it when possible, and deal with it, by respecting all posted speed limits and the safety of the road workers, when you can’t.

Well, that’s the list of what irritates your fellow enthusiasts. What about the risky driving habits they’re guilty of? Come on…no one’s perfect. Some of the things listed above as pet peeves are what hobbyists themselves do.

  1. Driving Slow – It makes sense that 25 percent of respondents put this at the top of their list. After all, they’re probably driving for the sake of the drive, not the destination. And, their car just might not go that fast. Still, by going slower than the flow of traffic, you can actually put yourself and others in harm’s way.
  2. Driving Fast – Again, it makes sense that 15 percent of those surveyed suffer from a Speed Racer complex. After all, they’re most likely driving for the sake of the drive. And, their car just might go that darn fast. Still, by going faster than the posted speed limit, you’re endangering yourself and others.
  3. Talking on Cell Phone – It’s hard to believe that there was life before cell phones, so it’s no surprise that 13 percent of respondents are guilty of this while they’re in their collector car. However, keep in mind that you’re not driving at your best if you’re chatting to your buddy…consider hanging up and enjoying the drive.
  4. Aggressive Driving – If you drive aggressively in your collector car, as 10 percent of respondents do, you’re definitely not enjoying a leisurely drive. Jump on a back road, turn up the radio, roll the down the window and take in the scenery.
  5. Eating or Drinking – Hey, we don’t want you to starve, but if you eat or drink while driving, like 4 percent of respondents, you’re not paying full attention to the road. Plus, you’re putting your risking your car interior. Why risk it? Pull over and have a picnic.
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