Americans Rank "Texters" Ahead of "Tailgaters" on List of Most Infuriating Driver Behaviors


don't text and drive

BELLEVUE, WA--May 16, 2014: Today, Expedia.com, the world's largest full service online travel site*, released the results of the 2014 Road Rage Report, conducted on Expedia's behalf by Northstar. Northstar surveyed 1,001 adult Americans to identify the behaviors that are likeliest to elicit road rage, from texting to swerving to speeding and beyond.

This Memorial Day weekend more than 30 million Americans are likely to take to the roads, putting a premium on courteous and respectful driving behavior.

On the whole, distraction is the most infuriating feature of the American driver. People who text while driving incur the most anger. 69% of Americans rate "The Texter" as the most aggravating driving behavior, followed by "The Tailgater" (60%), "The Multi-tasker" (54%), "The Drifter" (43%) and "The Crawler" (39%). Nearly 7 in 10 Americans (69%) report having been "flipped off" by a fellow motorist, while only 17% have admitted to doing so themselves.

"As the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day sees a huge spike in the number of drivers on the road," said John Morrey, Vice President and General Manager, Expedia.com. "Expedia rents millions of cars to Americans, so we set out to learn what behaviors on the open road are most welcome, and what behaviors most aggravating. The rule, as with airplanes and hotels, is that shared spaces demand decorum and attentiveness."

The full list of driving behaviors ranked as "most annoying or offensive" includes (percentage identifies behaviors ranked in the top five):

The Texter (drivers who text, email or talk on a phone while driving):

69%

The Tailgater (drivers who follow others far too closely):

60%

The Multi-tasker (applying makeup, eating, reading, etc.):

54%

The Drifter (either straddling two lanes or weaving between them):

43%

The Crawler (driving well below the speed limit):

39%

The Swerver (failing to signal before changing lanes or turning):

38%

The Left-Lane Hog (drivers who occupy the passing lane without moving):

32%

The Inconsiderate (those who do not let others merge):

30%

The Speeder (driving well past the speed limit at length):

27%

The Honker (drivers who slam the horn at will):

18%

The Unappreciative (drivers who do not give a wave or gesture of thanks):

13%

The Red Light Racer (drivers who inch ever closer to the light when red):

12%

A full analysis of Expedia's 2014 Road Rage Report can be found at http://viewfinder.expedia.com/.

Additional Findings

  • Despite the fact that Americans identify texting as the most offensive driving violator, 55% of Americans do admit to using their mobile phone at least some of the time while driving. In addition, 70% of Americans also admit to having been guilty of aggressive driving behavior, including speeding (58%), tailgating (28%) and yelling and/or swearing at fellow drivers (28%). Men are only slightly more likely to admit to aggressive driving than women (74% to 67%).
       
  • The rudest drivers are found in the largest cities. 33% of Americans name New York City as home to the least courteous/most rage-inducing drivers. 71% of Americans put New York among the top five rudest driving cities. Los Angeles (22%) ranked second, while Atlanta (9%) came in third. Only 5% of Americans believe Boston features the country's rudest drivers, but 27% of Americans place Boston in the top five.
        
  • American drivers do regularly demonstrate courtesy and helpfulness. 55% of American drivers report that they have stopped to help a fellow motorist – one they did not know – in distress. That behavior grows likelier with age: 42% of Americans aged 18-34 report having done so, versus 59% of those aged 35-54, and 64% of those 55 and older.
        
  • Gas Price Pessimism vs. Open Road Optimism
    Americans are generally pessimistic as it relates to gas prices. 96% of Americans believe gas prices will rise this summer. Even so, 56% of Americans define a road trip as an "ideal" way to spend a vacation. 30% of Americans have taken an overnight road trip in the past 12 months. More than a third of Americans (36%) have rented a car in the past 12 months, with most of them (70%) renting for leisure.  
        
  • The Expedia 2014 Road Rage Report found that 61% of Americans claim to treat their rental cars better than they treat their own cars. 19% claim to treat rentals worse. And 92% of Americans say they "always" refill the gas tank before returning a rental.
        
    Price is the most important feature in a rental car, with 62% ranking it as most important. Size is the second most important feature, followed by rental type (convertible, SUV, sedan or other), style (standard versus premium/luxury) and brand. 42% of Americans claim that they "always" rent the same type of car. When Americans invest in rental car upgrades, they are likelier to do so when they are renting a car for business (52%) than for leisure (42%).
        
  • Mobile apps have replaced printed maps. The Road Rage Report revealed that mobile phone maps – Google / Apple maps among them – are the most popular source of driving directions, with 40% of Americans using them regularly. 35% of Americans rely on dashboard GPS systems, while 22% still use printed maps.
        
    Among the 76% of Americans who own and regularly use an app-enabled mobile device, more than 4 in 10 (42%) have downloaded an app specifically to use while in the car. Among road-trip-related apps, Americans place the most value on maps (63%), traffic notification (47%) and weather alert / driving conditions (44%). Mobile devices are also popular for accommodations, with 23% of U.S. drivers using their mobile device to search for a hotel.
        
    The Expedia 2014 Road Rage Report also found that:
        
    • 62% of Americans believe 16 is too young to drive
    • 17% of U.S. drivers have driven in a foreign country on the opposite side of the road
      • 66% would do so while 34% would not
    • 91% of American men and 57% of American women claim to know how to change a tire
    • 85% of American drivers are "always pleasantly surprised" to receive a wave of thanks from a fellow driver
    • The two most popular reasons to honk at a fellow motorist are "if a driver starts to drift into my lane or is about to cut in front of me" (78%) and "when another driver cuts me off" (52%)
    • 62% of Americans prefer "the scenic route" to the fastest route when driving on vacation
    • "Spouse/partner" is the favored road trip companion for 68% of Americans, followed by best friend (31%), children (29%) and dog (14%)
    • "Chips" are the top road trip snack for 36% of Americans, followed by:
      • "Fast food" (31%)
      • "Nuts or dried fruit" (31%)
      • "Candy" (29%)
      • "Beef jerky / pepperoni sticks" (25%)
    • The Pacific Coast Highway is the preferred scenic route for 41% of American road trippers, followed by:
      • Route 66 (33% listed in the top 3)
      • Overseas Highway / Florida Keys (28%)
      • Hawaii Belt (27%)
      • Blue Ridge Parkway (26%)
    • Classic rock is the preferred road trip music for 40% of Americans, followed by:
      • Country (28%)
      • Golden Oldies (25%)
      • Top Hits (24%)
      • Pop (23%)
      • Easy Listening (22%)
      • Hip Hop (15%)
      • Heavy Metal (10%)

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