Britain's most annoying drivers

Updated: 
driver on phoneBritish motorists are most irritated by older drivers, taxi drivers and cyclists.

During the global financial crash of 2008/09, the number of cars on Britain's roads declined for the first time since the Second World War. However, rising car sales over the past couple of years have seen the number of vehicles on our roads rise to 35 million, including almost 31.4 million cars.

With the UK's roads becoming increasingly congested, it's no wonder that more and more motorists find driving both frustrating and stressful. This frustration becomes very clear in a new survey from Admiral Insurance into British drivers' pet hates.

Who drives us mad?
According to the survey, older motorists (those aged over 60) most irritate other drivers, followed by taxi drivers and cyclists. We're none too keen on 'white van man', teenage drivers and caravans, either!

Here's the full list:

Road

user

% who find

them irritating

Elderly motorists

41%

Taxi drivers

37%

Cyclists

36%

Van drivers

34%

Male drivers aged 17/18

30%

Caravanners

29%

Tractor drivers

26%

4x4 drivers

26%

Lorry drivers

21%

Motorcyclists

19%

Bus drivers

19%

Female drivers aged 17/18

14%

Sales reps

9%


It's also worth noting that the road users who most irritate the over-60s are cyclists, which top their list at 35%. Among older drivers, only 22% find their age group most irritating, putting themselves only eighth on their own list of irritating motorists.

Personally, I think we're being unfair on older drivers. I'd much rather ride with my 73-year-old father-in-law than with my 21-year-old niece. I'm convinced that his five decades of experience and 'road sense' more than compensate for her faster reaction time and keener eyesight.

Indeed, Admiral's managing director, Sue Longthorn, says: "The reason so many people find elderly motorists irritating could be because they tend to drive more carefully and are not in such a rush, compared to many other road users. So many motorists are in a rush these days; they get impatient with anyone they think is slowing them down."

Drivers behaving badly
As well as researching irritating drivers, Admiral also asked respondents about what annoys them about other road users. Here's our worst habits:

Annoyance

Percentage

Tailgating

74%

Using mobile phones

73%

Not indicating

71%

Cutting up

70%

Not paying attention

57%

Driving too slowly

54%

Not saying thank you when you give way

50%

Hogging the middle lane

49%

Speeding

32%

Racing at traffic lights and junctions

30%

According to Admiral, our number-one annoyance when driving is tailgating (driving too close to the vehicle in front). As well as being downright dangerous, almost three-quarters of drivers (74%) found tailgating annoying.

Closely following behind with 73% is using mobile phones while driving -- an offence punishable by a fixed-penalty notice. In third place, mentioned by 71% of drivers, is not indicating before turning, followed by cutting up (veering sharply to get in front of another vehicle) at 70%.

Other bad habits that give us 'road rage' include not paying attention (57%), followed by driving too slowly (54%) -- a common complaint levied against older motorists. Also, we like other motorists to show good manners, with half (50%) of us annoyed when other drivers don't thank us for giving way.

Last of our 10 bad habits are speeding, which annoys almost a third (32%) of UK motorists, and racing at traffic lights and junctions (30%) -- most often associated with 'boy racers'.

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