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As more and more people hit the roads in a bid to vacay in Britain post-lockdown, Leicester-based car leasing company, Pink Car Leasing, quizzed Britain’s drivers on their top pleasures and pet peeves of life behind the wheel (spoiler alert – BMW drivers may want to stop reading now).
Road rage has seemingly become a common national pastime - we are a nation of moaners, after all. But what is it that really grinds the gears of the millions of motorists that take to the road each day?
Well, according to respondents, there are some clear universal annoyances. Tailgating, lane hogging and a lack of indicator use were commonly identified by respondents, but what really sets off a quarter of our drivers is slowness and cyclists – or “cyclists, cyclists, cyclists, cyclists” as one put it.
So, as it seems doing your bit for the environment and your own health isn’t quite good enough for Britain’s motorists – on your bike, cyclists!
Cyclists aside now, respondents were asked to vote on who they believe to be the worst drivers. Traditionally, this has been a battle of the sexes but, today, opinions appear to be less concerned with gender and more age, experience, car model, confidence, occupation, ability to reverse and the propensity to follow rules.
It’s a good job BMW don’t make bicycles – oh, wait…
Now we’ve uncovered what (and who) annoys them, let’s discuss how our drivers express their irritation. When asked what their go-to gesture is, popular responses included waving, headshaking, throwing up a “v” sign and, of course, giving the infamous middle finger.
However, 25% of respondents opt for a hands-in-the-air motion to communicate their complete and utter shock at what they have just witnessed.
Interestingly, beeping the horn was one of the least popular responses, suggesting either silence speaks volumes or that we are all far too polite to actually let others know of their wrongdoings, no matter how much they irritate us.
That said, where do these gestures, motions and expletives really get us? Rather than ruining someone else’s day, maybe we should take the high road and a leaf out of this one respondent’s book and just “keep both hands on the steering wheel”.
But, while it’s easy to criticise someone else’s driving (hello to the 40% of backseat drivers), it’s also important to reflect on our own. As respondents would have found, it happens to be an incredibly humbling experience.
Over half of those surveyed admitted to being the cause of someone else’s road rage, whether it be because they pulled out in front of someone, didn’t let someone in, cut someone off or perhaps, it’s simply because they drive a BMW.
What’s clear is that we all make mistakes – as one respondent said “Who hasn’t? Humans are idiots!”
But, enough about road rage. Driving also provides us with some funny and memorable moments too. Respondents recalled fond memories of road trips, carpooling antics and standstill traffic selfies.
“I once saw a guy driving down the motorway in an old Mercedes playing a trumpet with both hands and steering with his knees,” one recalled.
Storing loo roll in the boot of her new Mustang during that stage of lockdown is another amusing anecdote shared by Pink Car Leasing brand ambassador and X Factor winner, Sam Bailey.
But for the 40% of respondents who do get wound up on the road, what better way to calm down after a bout of rage than with a drivetime singalong? Lower your arms, put the middle finger away, check your mirrors (because we do follow the highway code over here) and press play on your favourite song.
Here are just some of the respondents’ popular picks:
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