We Brits are known as some of the politest people on Earth, priding ourselves on our queuing, etiquette and Ps and Qs. But there are certain situations where all this decorum goes out the window – and out on the road is one of them.
For all our good manners and supposed civility, many of us find it hard to keep a calm head at the wheel. Not only that, but people act a lot differently in their cars than they would elsewhere – dropping litter, parking where they shouldn’t, and being happy to break the law.
Given that the British are seemingly incapable of behaving behind the wheel, we wanted to find out where in the country you’d find the politest drivers – and where they could use a lesson in driving etiquette. To put this to the test, we conducted a survey quizzing motorists of all ages from all parts of the country on their driving etiquette. What we found was surprising to say the least, and we’re happy to share the results below.
Britain’s Politest Drivers – The Headlines
To say that all British drivers are rude road rage lunatics would be a massive overstatement, and also totally unfair. The vast majority of motorists obey the rules and happily share the road with others, which brings us to the question: who are Britain’s politest drivers?
Take a look at a few of the headline stats which emerged from our recent driving etiquette survey to find out.
So, Baby Boomers are without doubt the age group with the best etiquette out on the road, with 93% having never littered from their car and a further 92% saying they’d pull over for a funeral procession. By contrast, millennials didn’t fair too well in our survey, with parking where they shouldn’t among the most common driving infractions for younger drivers.
What was interesting is that 90% of all British drivers surveyed have a major dislike for backseat drivers – you know, the people who make comments on your driving style or start gripping the seat when they think you’re going too fast. We think most motorists out there would agree that backseat drivers are annoying, so let this be a lesson to anyone who’s prone to commenting on how their nearest and dearest handles themselves out on the road.
A Regional Split
While we’re not ones to point fingers, our survey did highlight some interesting regional differences when it comes to driving etiquette – and the north didn’t come off well.
Northern drivers were revealed to be some of the least polite out on the road, with 12% confessing to parking in disabled spaces, 15% having littered from their cars, and 18% considering gawping at an accident to be harmless. Drivers from the east of England were found to be among the most polite, with the lowest rate of bad parking habits.
However, drivers from the south of England shouldn’t start feeling too pleased with themselves just yet. Our survey found that 48% of motorists in the south have cut off other drivers, compared to just 33% in the north. For many, this is a much bigger sin than parking where you perhaps shouldn’t – so it seems the whole country is guilty of some form of cheeky and impolite driving.
Take a look at some of the other key stats from the study in our video guide.
Other Key Stats and Things to Remember
Overall, from the 800 or so motorists surveyed, British drivers didn’t come out looking all that rosy from our study. Here are some of the other key findings which paint a picture of our motoring shortcomings:
• Half of the drivers surveyed admitted not using the horn while driving – an important alert out on the road
• One quarter of drivers wouldn't slow down behind a funeral
• 90% of drivers find passengers annoying – welcome to the age of solo driving
• Parking in child spaces and on the pavement were revealed to be the most common poor driving habits in the UK
• One quarter of drivers cut off others
• 85% confess shouting at the wheel – showing a real tendency for road rage
• One quarter enjoy listening to loud music while driving
• 10% of drivers confess to littering out of the car
So, there you have it – a glimpse into Britain’s most polite and impolite drivers. Are you guilty of bad driving habits? Or do you think you buck the trend and set a good example out on the road? We’d love to hear your view, so get in touch via our Facebook page.
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