Don’t look now but Pet Peeve Week is already halfway over! Not willing to let this unusual occasion slip by unnoticed, we asked a few of our Facebook friends about their biggest driving pet peeves. Turns out, our friends have quite a few driving pet peeves and were more than happy to tell us about them.
It seems if there’s one place we tend to get particularly peeved it’s in our cars. And while unfortunate (and even dangerous), the tendency is also understandable. In the past 2 decades, the number of cars being driven has increased by 35 percent, while the number of roads being built has only increased by 1 percent.
Naturally, more cars on the road mean more drivers and more drivers, of course, mean more opportunities for them to drive each other bananas. At first glance, some driving pet peeves may seem trivial, but they become much more serious when you consider that road rage has increased 51 percent since 1990.
With that statistic in mind, here are the top 3 driving pet peeves (as voted by you), as well as a few insider tips for avoiding them.
3. People who don’t know how to merge on the highway.
Merging seems so simple, but as number 3 on our list, it’s obvious that many of us are doing it incorrectly. Here are a few peeve-prevention pointers. First, get up to speed. If you’re not driving the speed of traffic when you merge, the car behind you will be forced to slow down or even slam on the brakes (which tends to make drivers tense and testy). Second, use your mirrors to keep track of who’s around you and use your blinkers to show them your intentions. Finally, remember that freeway traffic has the right-of-way.
2. Being cut off.
Some pet peeves — like not merging properly and not using your blinkers — can easily lead to others — like cutting someone off. But really, there are very few excuses for suddenly moving into a different lane and cutting off the car behind you. If you’re a safe and defensive driver and follow the rules of the road, “cutting” should never happen. Check your rearviews, use your blinkers, and change lanes only when there’s plenty of space to do so. Bottom line here? Don’t cut people off.
1. Someone not using their blinkers.
Drivers not using their turn signals is the biggest driving pet peeve our friends have. It’s also dangerous. Turn signals became standard in the 1960s and are now required on all vehicles driven on public roads. Additionally, most DMV handbooks recommend signaling a turn or lane change at least 100 feet ahead on city roads or 300 feet ahead on the highway. Your blinkers are the only method you have of communicating your intentions to other drivers … so don’t forget to use them (they’re conveniently located right next to the steering wheel).
With aggressive driving and road rage on the rise, it’s important that we do all we can to avoid making things any more stressful on the road. So please, before you get in the driver’s seat, put on your patience pants — and as you head out on the highway, remember to use your blinkers, merge safely and correctly, and for crying out loud, don’t cut people off.