‘All Distracted Drivers Send the Same Message’

Five Canandaigua Academy students submitted the video above to a Distracted Driving Video Contest held in 2011 by the New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company (NYCM), and we particularly agreed with the final thought at the end: “All Distracted Drivers Send the Same Message.”

We have been getting a better idea of how people view that message too. On Monday, we discussed one poll indicating strong public support among Florida voters for anti-texting legislation. Today, we wanted to discuss the findings of another poll conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center in January 2012.

The poll asked 895 Americans to score 20 common driver complaints on a 1-to-10 scale, with 1 indicating a behavior that “does not annoy you at all” and 10 indicating it “annoys you tremendously.” When you think of all the things that can irritate us as motorists, what would you expect to be the most highly-rated complaint? Being cut off? Tailgating?

The answers may surprise you, but according to the Consumer Reports poll, these were the Top 20:

Most annoying behaviors Scale 1-10
Texting on a cell phone while driving 8.9
Able-bodied drivers parking in handicapped spaces 8.7
Tailgaters 8.4
Drivers who cut you off 8.3
Speeding and swerving in and out of traffic 8.2
Taking up two parking spaces 7.7
Talking on a cell phone while driving 7.6
Not letting you merge into a lane 7.6
Not dimming high beams when approaching 7.6
Not using turn signals 7.5
Slow drivers dawdling in the passing lane 7.3
Jaywalkers stepping in front of your car 7.3
Excessive horn honking 7.1
Slowing down to “rubberneck” at accidents 7.0
Not turning on lights when it’s raining or at dusk 6.8
Drivers who are indecisive about where to turn 6.6
Slow drivers on a two-lane road who won’t pull over 6.5
Not going when the light turns green 6.1
Bicyclists who don’t let you by 5.8
Cranking up the radio volume 5.7

Do these rankings surprise you? Cell phone use while driving accounts for two of the top seven items on this list, but in addition to irritating other drivers, it is important to keep in mind that these distractions lead to auto accidents. Whether or not you are concerned about how your driving habits might annoy other drivers, all motorists should be avoiding cell phone use while behind the wheel out of concern for injuring other drivers.

Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. – Orlando personal injury lawyers



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