When it comes to our morning commutes or weekly trip to the supermarket, we all have our fair share of bad habits. But is it possible to put a label on which habits are the most irritating? The answer is, yes.

A new survey has revealed the driving habits we find the most infuriating in fellow road users, and, rightly so, it’s bad news for anyone who has a tendency to tailgate or can’t keep their hands off their mobile phones.

The research, carried out by car finance providers Zuto, revealed that 84 per cent of drivers find other motorists using their mobile phones while at the wheel the most aggravating trait, while an equal 84 per cent said it annoys them when other motorists drive too close to them.

But, according to UK drivers, there’s another habit that really gets our blood boiling, and that’s bad parking. The survey also looked into which elements of driving the UK finds the most difficult, with parking skills coming out on top as the most challenging.

Of those surveyed, 14 per cent admitted to spending only ten minutes looking for an “easy” space to park in before resorting to somewhere “restricted’ to leave their vehicle this – this includes parking in front of a driveway. Meanwhile, a shocking one-in-ten admitted to parking within a family spot despite not having children with them.

On the other hand, a third (31 per cent) of Brits surveyed said they would spend up to 30 minutes looking for a suitable space to park in, confirming that our national traits of being polite and waiting patiently haven’t vanished completely.

Looking at these results, it’s no surprise that more than 40 per cent of UK drivers have received a penalty parking ticket on at least one occasion. However, it was the drivers in Northern Ireland who turned out to be the worst offenders overall, with an overwhelming 60 per cent of the driving population having received a parking fine.

As a whole, then, it’s poor parking that really infuriates the nation. In any case, all drivers can relate to the anger caused by one car taking up two spaces. In second place, it’s people parking in wrong spaces, which annoyed 64 per cent of the drivers polled. Drivers said it is severely frustrating to be waiting for a parking space and to then see others ignoring the rules only infuriates them further.

James Wilkinson, CEO at Zuto, said: “As a nation we are very polite, but that doesn’t stop us secretly getting annoyed at other drivers, and with such poor practices on show it is easy to see why.” Here’s a summary of the UK’s worst driving habits, as voted for by UK motorists:

The UK’s 5 worst driving habits:

1 Poor parking (34%)

2 Not keeping to the speed limit (29%)

3 Keeping a safe distance from the car in front (14%)

4 Going too slowly (14%)

5 Stopping in a yellow box junction (14%)

Most frustrating driving habits in other drivers:

1 Driving too close (84%)

2 Using phone whilst driving (84%)

3 Not stopping at zebra crossing (72%)

4 Driving too slowly (71%)

5 Generally poor parking in spaces (68%)

Photo: Fotolia

Sophie Williamson Stothert


December 9, 2015

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