We’re all aware of road rage. It seems, at times, to be an inevitability of driving on today’s roads – whether it’s from you or directed at you.
Getting irate in the car isn’t the preserve of drivers alone, either. Being a passenger can be a taxing experience and may be a bone of contention for some. Partners, as with so many things in life, can bear the brunt of irritating or worrying behaviour in particular.
A recent study by airport parking company ParkOn revealed the most hated driving habits that drivers inflict on their partners. Surprisingly, road rage didn’t figure as the worst habit overall, although it did feature quite highly on the listings in third place.
The most commonly hated driving habit – as stated by partners – was actually playing music too loud. You might think that seeing this as a bad habit is just a difference in opinion, but it’s also proven to be dangerous, too. Multiple studies have found that loud music can reduce reaction times and prove to be a distraction, thereby leading to accidents. So, whilst it might seem like you’re adding to your driving enjoyment by blasting your favourite songs, you could be making your journey more dangerous… and your partner angrier.
Second on the list was slamming on the brakes too hard. Now, braking hard to avoid a hazard is understandable, even advisable. But stomping on the brakes when pulling up to a stop sign instead of gradually slowing down? That’s really pretty irritating.
Nose-picking was unfortunately high on the list, coming in at position number five, proving that some habits people take with them into adulthood. Let’s just hope that there’s no eating at the wheel…
The study also asked respondents to reveal the most dangerous thing their partner has done whilst driving. The results found that, although the actions themselves might not be entirely surprising, they are surprisingly common.
Using a cell phone at the wheel was the most frequently-committed driving offence, with a hefty 29% of partners failing to keep their eyes on the road – and off their phones.
To top it all off, there’s a huge disparity between how men and women view their driving abilities compared to their partner’s. Overall, respondents of both genders thought that their driving skills were better than their partners’, with 85% stating it as a fact. Perhaps this shows that modesty is not a virtue when it comes to driving.
Men in particular appear to be lacking in modesty – or perhaps overflowing with self-confidence – as 91% admitted that they think they’re a better driver than their partner.
A significant portion of men (47%!) also thought that their partner would actually fail their driving exam if they retook it today. In comparison, only 79% of women believed that they were better drivers than their partner and just 30% thought that their partner would fail their driving exam: the old adage of women being the fairer sex seems to have some credence.
With the advent of driverless cars, are we on the cusp of an age of more relaxed journeys? Will we be able to stop jabbing our feet at imaginary brake pedals and gripping the armrests when our partners drive and instead enjoy enriching, cordial conversations? It’s certainly possible. We can only wait and see.