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Problem or Solution: Which Kind of Driver Are You?

SmarterTravel

Planning a road trip this summer? For the sake of safety and peace of mind, your own and others’, add this to the pre-departure to-do list: a review of your driving habits. After all, while there’s nothing you can do to change other drivers’ bad habits, you are at least in control of your own.

So, what are the most aggravating driver behaviors? According to Expedia’s just-released 2016 Road Rage Report, “an annual analysis of driving etiquette,” the two most bothersome driver types are the texter and the tailgater. Here’s the report’s full list:

  1. The Texter – 22 percent
  2. The Tailgater – 14 percent
  3. The Last-Minute Line-Cutter – 13 percent
  4. The Left-Lane Hog – 11 percent
  5. The Crawler – 8 percent
  6. The Multitasker – 8 percent
  7. The Swerver – 8 percent
  8. The Speeder – 5 percent
  9. The Drifter – 5 percent
  10. The Honker – 3 percent
  11. The Inconsiderate – 2 percent
  12. The Red Light Racer – 1 percent

While the survey focused on etiquette, the link between courtesy and safety was an underlying theme: 45 percent were involved in, or nearly involved in, accidents due to others’ inattentive driving.

Fender-benders aren’t the only safety concern. The combination of bad driving and heavy traffic inevitably leads to road rage. Around 20 percent of the survey respondents reported feeling physically threatened by another driver, with 48 percent receiving rude hand gestures, and fully 9 percent engaging in a physical altercation with a fellow driver.

The report also surveyed attitudes toward non-driver behavior, with an overwhelming 61 percent citing backseat driving as their number one irritant. “Reluctant co-pilots” were a distant second source of irritation, at 11 percent, followed by “radio hogs” at 9 percent.

Expedia predicts that more than 30 million Americans will travel by car over the Memorial Day weekend, and car travel throughout the summer months will be heavy as well. That’s millions of opportunities for bad driving, for road rage, for unnecessary accidents. Or not.

Let’s be considerate out there. And safe.

Reader Reality Check

Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? Be honest.

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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