Autocar/AA Drive Better Campaign

Bad Manners are the route to road rage

We all need to live in harmony on the roads so better manners would help

14 October 2009

Remember your Ps and Qs when you get behind the wheel

Boy racers, drivers who don't thank you when you let them out and drivers who show off are the top three types of drivers that AA members most dislike, according to an online AA/Populus poll of 14,743 AA members for the Autocar/AA 'Drive Better' campaign.

The Autocar/AA Drive Better campaign thinks that some good old fashioned manners could bring back the smile to drivers' faces and remove the threat of road rage.

Commenting, Edmund King, AA president said "Many drivers do thank others who let them out but 37% of male drivers and 46% of female drivers still find those who don't a major irritation. Lorry drivers tend to flash their hazard lights and others raise their hand to acknowledge the good manners of other drivers. It does not take much to let someone into the queue of traffic or to acknowledge them. We all need to live in harmony on the roads so better manners would help."

Autocar editor Chas Haslett said "Personal transport is hugely important to all of us but we need to make our roads better and safer places to be. Being nicer to other drivers and acknowledging their existence calms everyone down, and that's got to be good for everyone. A friendly raise of the hand and a smile uses much less energy than an angry, heated exchange."

Top ten dislikes

The top ten types of driver that other drivers most dislike were:

  1. Boy racers - 42%
  2. Drivers who don't say thanks - 41%
  3. Drivers who show off - 33%
  4. Those who listen to loud music, windows open - 23%
  5. White van man - 21%
  6. Sunday drivers - 20%
  7. School run mums - 16% (19% males,12% females)
  8. Taxi/Mini cab drivers - 14%
  9. Foreign lorry drivers - 12%
  10. Drivers with caravans - 9%

Other driving irritants

Drivers with signs in the car with slogans such as baby on board annoyed 5%, while 3% didn't like those vain drivers who always look in the mirror.

And while white van drivers wound up 21%, drivers of the iconic red Royal Mail Van cause almost no distress to other drivers countrywide.

Regionally, Sunday Drivers are more disliked in Wales and Northern Ireland than any other region, residents of Northern Ireland dislike taxi drivers more than the rest of the country and drivers at the wheel of a white van are more likely to cause irritation in the South.

Wales had the highest percentage disliking boy racers (48%), followed closely by Northern Ireland (45%).

The South West and the East Midlands had a higher percentage of those who dislike drivers who don't say thank you (44%). And in Scotland, 8% disliked tractor drivers.

Heavyweight motoring brands Autocar and the AA have joined forces to make motoring a better experience for road users frustrated by the lack of ability or care of many drivers. The Autocar/AA 'Drive Better Campaign' believes the route to better, safer roads is education.

Join the discussion in the AA zone

AA/Populus interviewed 14,743 AA members online between 1st and 8th May 2009. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.


12 October 2009