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Pet Peeves – Results of VehicleVoice Survey

All of us experience things while driving that bother us. Some bother us more than others. To determine what things bother us most while driving, over 1000 VehicleVoice members responded to a short survey on Pet Peeves during the first week of November 2007.
Driving activities that were most bothersome appear to be folks simply doing other stuff while driving.
Not Paying Attention: 91% of VehicleVoice respondents said say that another driver not paying attention bothers them a lot.
Texting – Putting on Makup: 90% of VehicleVoice respondents say that other drivers texting and putting on make-up while driving bothered them a lot.
Dimming Headlamps – Reading: 88% said that not dimming high-beams and reading while driving bothered them a lot.
Pulling Out Without Enough Clearance: 86% said that drivers pulling into traffic without enough clearance bothered them a lot.
Tailgating: Bothered 85% of the panelists a lot.
Cell Phone Use: 67% said that using a cell phone while driving bothered them a lot. Frankly, we thought this response would have been higher, but given the fact that many/most of us use cell phones at some time while driving, it is not to surprising that we’d give ourselves a break.
Other issues that appear to resonate with VehicleVoice panel members include things that bother them a lot:
Driving without car insurance – 89%
Driving slow in the fast lane – 88%
Turning from the wrong lane – 87%
Weaving in-and-out through traffic – 86%
Street racing on public roads – 86%
Driving without a license – 82%
Driving an unsafe vehicle – 79%
Not using turn signals – 76%
Panel Members Weigh In: VehicleVoice panel members also weighed in with additional pet peeves that we had not thought to ask. There were many mentions of drivers who changed their minds while turning and then pushing back into the flowing traffic. Weaving in and out of traffic appears to be a particular problem. Wide turns bother many panel members. Loud radios and loud mufflers are a irritant to many panel members. Littering and throwing trash out the windows is a particular irritant for many panel members. Driving slowly in the left lane, or hogging the fast lane also bothers many.
Correcting Pet Peeves Likely Won’t Happen: Simply, those things that are out of the norm or interrupt the flow of traffic are irritants that could be corrected with better road manners, better consideration for others, more patience. Not gonna happen.

1 Comment

  • Bob| June 13, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    —-Regarding the attention issue, and the use of cell phones, one never hears about the possibilities for training one’s attentive skills. Visual attention isn’t the same as simply aiming and focusing one’s eyes on something. There are eye-exercise charts that train one to focus one’s eyes differently from the thing they’re aimed at, and exercising these skills separately enhances one’s use of them together. Analogously, one can use one’s visual attention separately from both aim and focus. Throw your keys out on the lawn, and then go search for them. While searching, your attention will be in “scan” mode, and you will be attending to fairly wide swaths of your field-of-vision. Notice, though, what happens when you catch a glimpse of the keys somewhere in the near-periphery of your vision, and you go to pick them up. Your attentional swath contracts to a width of about two inches, even before you bend over, and your eyes are still in the same focus-and-aim configuration as when the search-mode first encountered the keys. Just becoming more aware of the distinctness of attentional skills can help in their employment.
    —-Regarding slow driving in the fast lane, and hogging it, I’d add that anyone with an SUV ought to stay out of the left lane. There’s a reason trucks are prohibited from the left lane, and it’s only lax enforcement that allows SUVs and minivans to use it. People shouldn’t wear big hats to the movies, and by the same token, SUVs should stay out of the left lane, and let the people with real cars use it. Normal people shouldn’t have to pay for the ego-inadequacies and control issues that SUV owners compensate for by driving behemoths with “commanding” road views.
    —-And how lazy does one have to be to feel it necessary to swing wide left to make a right turn, just to avoid having to turn the (power-assisted!) steering wheel as much? These people must be very obese. They should lose some weight.
    —-Another annoyance is people who insist on being able to pull immediately into the left lane when turning right onto a multi-lane main road. because of their stupidity, they have to wait for ALL lanes to be open, instead of pulling into the right lane and changing lanes one at a time. And in having to wait to lunge across the road, they keep a line of cars behind them waiting.
    —-In a congested city, a main concern should be to act in a way that allows as many cars to get through traffic lights as possible. Pay attention to the lights, especially if you’re in the front car, and once through the intersection, keep moving. Stopping to let some waiting jaywalker cross or to let some car enter from a side street may stroke your ostentatious courtesy-self-image, but it can really screw up traffic behind you, clog the intersection, and lead to a major traffic jam. The jaywalker can go to a crosswalk, and the entering car can wait for a break between the lights. (well, let him in if traffic is so thick that there’s no break, but not otherwise.) It IS courteous to surrender your right of way, but that doesn’t mean you should do it when it isn’t necessary, and to do so would inconvenience each of the 20 drivers behind you more than the one you gratiously let in would be inconvenienced by waiting. Right of way laws weren’t designed ONLY to mediate potentially adversarial contests, but also to make traffic interaction more consistent, predictable, and thereby, more efficient. Think about whether your right-of-way conduct accomplishes a net good, or whether it accomplishes only minor good at the expense of a large inconsiderateness.
    —-Besides, a good, attentive, hustling jaywalker doesn’t WANT to be seen as holding up traffic. Good, responsible jaywalking consists of the art of darting across the street without having ANY effect on the flow of traffic. Being waved across by some ostentatious, magisterial matron is a condescending insult.

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