Public roads, like all public places, expose you to the sometimes objectionable behaviour of the people you have to share them with. Whereas bad behaviour is mostly just a nuisance in most public spaces, on roads it becomes dangerous, with the perpetrator typically found behind the wheel of a several ton glass and metal projectile.
Here’s our pick of the 12 most annoying driving habits on Australian roads.
In Australia a litterbug can potentially cause an environmental catastrophe, which raises the stakes for this annoying habit. Few things are worse than seeing somebody toss a packet or soda can out a car, other than watching them flick a cigarette butt into tinder dry bush on the side of the road.
2. Failing to indicate
Some drivers let you know when they intend to come into your lane, others just do it. Drivers who don’t use their signal lights can easily cause accidents, which is annoying when you consider how little effort is required to flick an indicator switch.
We’re not referring to the funeral home variety here, but rather to people who get in your way and then refuse to allow you to overtake when you attempt to do so. It’s not only inconsiderate and annoying but can trap you in the path of oncoming traffic.
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Tailgating is as senseless as it is dangerous. Closing the distance between two cars to less than three seconds does absolutely nothing to help the tailgater get to their destination quicker, but guarantees that they’ll collide with you if you have to hard brake your vehicle for any reason.
5. Entering the phone zone
Some individuals believe that their multi-tasking abilities are up to watching a six inch screen and simultaneously manoeuvring a vehicle through traffic. They demonstrate this ability by wandering between lanes, slowing down inexplicably, and involving innocent people in accidents.
It’s understandable that some people prefer driving slowly and cautiously. However, once they start exercising this preference in the fast lane of a road they aren’t just a nuisance, but an active road hazard.
7. Crossing lanes on corners
Some drivers feel it is acceptable to change lanes while cornering. This has the effect of forcing cars that are sticking to their lanes on corners to either slow to accommodate them, or risk running off the road entirely.
8. Cursory stops
Taxis are usually responsible for this, but whether it’s on a public road or in a parking lot, temporarily bringing a car to a halt and blocking traffic in one lane for several minutes puts other drivers at severe inconvenience and can easily cause accidents.
9. Being overly polite
There are situations where it is polite to allow another driver to cross a clogged intersection or merge with your lane. However, where the normal flow of traffic and observing the rules of the road would work best for everyone concerned, waving someone through out of turn can not only create confusion, but can result in accidents.
10. Meanness towards mergers
When roads are clogged drivers may be forced to merge lanes ahead of vehicles that are queued in the correct lane. Unfortunately some people take this behaviour as a challenge and will actively block other vehicles from merging, creating unnecessary stress and hostility for all involved.
11. Sudden braking
Maintaining a following distance of three or more seconds will prevent you from colliding with people who slam on the brakes. It is nevertheless unnerving and dangerous when a driver in front of you speeds or accelerates towards an obvious obstacle and then brakes at the last moment, forcing surrounding traffic to take evasive action.
12. Drag racing
Attempting to initiate impromptu drag races from stop streets or traffic lights without provocation is a hobby for some drivers in high powered vehicles. At best this behaviour is pointlessly aggressive, and at worst can quickly escalate into road rage incidents or accidents.
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Driving smart keeps you safe and makes the road a more pleasant place for other drivers. At UbiCar we reward safe drivers with fairer car insurance rates.