Two-thirds of drivers are hypocrites on the road, study finds

Embargoed to 0001 Thursday September 21 POSED BY MODEL File photo dated 13/08/14 of a woman using a mobile phone while driving. Millions of Britons may still be using their mobile phones while driving despite penalties for the offence being doubled, research suggests.

A recent survey of drivers across the UK has found that 65 per cent admit to dangerous or discourteous behaviour while driving – of the sort that irritates them the most when committed by other road users.

Despite offences such as failing to indicate, leaving full-beam headlights on or using a mobile phone at the wheel being cited as some of the most annoying behaviours on the road, drivers grudgingly admitted to being guilty of these same offences.

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More than one in five (22 per cent) said they sometimes failed to indicate their intentions when turning or changing lane, while a similar number admitted they sometimes drove too slowly or parked in an awkward or inconsiderate manner.

Other annoying habits, including not saying thank you, tailgating and not conceding right of way were also questioned, and confessed to by 13 per cent, 19 per cent and 17 per cent of survey respondents respectively.

Though these habits are irritating, unless done in a dangerous manner they aren't illegal. However, the use of mobile phones behind the wheel, which carries a fine of £200 and six penalty points, was confessed to be a shocking 19 per cent of those quizzed.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, young drivers were the most guilty (or perhaps the most honest), with 32 per cent of 25-34 year olds and 21 per cent of 18-24 year olds saying they sometimes used their mobile phones while driving.

It's not just a youth problem, though – over-65s were close behind, and 20 per cent of those surveyed owned up to the dangerous and illegal habit.

Just 35 per cent of survey respondents said they were always courteous and safe behind the wheel.

Neil Smith, operations director at Imperial Cars, which commissioned the survey, said: "It was interesting to see the extent of hypocrisy amongst drivers with large percentages of road users irritated by habits that they themselves do on a frequent basis.

"The thing that really stood out for us was the use of mobile phones whilst driving in the top five hypocritical driving habits, despite the government enforcing stricter laws last year. Whilst these habits can be seen as annoying, it is still important to revaluate our driving at times to avoid causing real danger on the roads."

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