Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer driving season, and to get you in the mood, Expedia has published its annual Road Rage Report. Some of the findings may surprise you, and a few might suggest ways for you to improve your own driving habits.
In gathering data for the 2014 report, Expedia partnered with marketing firm Northstar to poll 1,001 Americans about their driving habits. The goal? To see how people like (and hate) to travel: things that they prefer, and things that really tick them off.
Among the latter are drivers who text behind the wheel. In fact, when survey participants were asked to name the five most-annoying types of drivers, "The Texter" showed up in 69 percent of responses. Here's how the other sorts of motorists stacked up:
- The Texter (drivers who text, email or talk on a phone while driving): 69%
- The Tailgater (drivers who follow others far too closely): 60%
- The Multi-tasker (applying makeup, eating, reading, etc.): 54%
- The Drifter (either straddling two lanes or weaving between them): 43%
- The Crawler (driving well below the speed limit): 39%
- The Swerver (failing to signal before changing lanes or turning): 38%
- The Left-Lane Hog (drivers who occupy the passing lane without moving): 32%
- The Inconsiderate (those who do not let others merge): 30%
- The Speeder (driving well past the speed limit at length): 27%
- The Honker (drivers who slam the horn at will): 18%
- The Unappreciative (drivers who do not give a wave or gesture of thanks): 13%
- The Red Light Racer (drivers who inch ever closer to the light when red): 12%
That said, respondents acknowledged that they engaged in annoying habits themselves, from time to time. Roughly 58 percent admitted to being a Speeder, while 55 percent said that they use their cell phone at least some of the time while driving (which is more or less in keeping with previous surveys). All told, 74 percent of men and 68 percent of women admitted to some kind of aggressive driving behavior.
Perhaps not surprisingly, rudeness begets rudeness, meaning that densely populated cities can be hotbeds for discourteous driving. New York City was voted home base for America's rudest drivers by 33 percent of respondents, while Los Angeles came in second, with 22 percent of the vote. There was a good bit of disagreement about the #3 spot, but Atlanta eventually nabbed it, with nine percent of the vote.
However, American's aren't entirely evil. In fact, 55 percent of those surveyed said that they'd stopped to help a driver that they didn't know. The numbers were higher for older motorists (64 percent of folks 55 and over) than younger ones (42 percent of those between 18 and 34).
Other fun facts gleaned from the survey include:
- 56 percent of those surveyed said that a road trip is their ideal vacation.
- 61 percent of respondents said that they treat rental cars better than they treat their own cars.
- Only 22 percent of drivers use time-honored printed maps. Most folks (40 percent) use map apps on their smartphones, while another 35 percent rely on in-dash satnav systems.
- A whopping 61 percent of respondents think that 16-year-olds are too young to drive.
- While 91 percent of men claim they can change a tire, just 57 percent of women make similar promises.
- About 36 percent of Americans say that chips are their favorite behind-the-wheel snack. Folks at Insure.com would disagree.
- Classic rock is the preferred music for road trippers to enjoy, followed by country and golden oldies. (Despite the best efforts of Psy -- remember him? -- K-Pop didn't make the top ten.)