Road Rudeness, the Car Bubble and Pet Peeves

Saw this "road rudeness" term this morning in a AAA article titled Road rudeness—A big issue for most drivers. Now you have to remember that I grew up driving in New York and New Jersey. I know a little about rude driving - not that I have any first hand knowledge of the phenomenon. Here are a few thoughts on the subject from the Auto Club article:
Research has consistently shown that aggressive driving is a far more prevalent issue than violent road rage encounters. Forty percent of the respondents in one survey admitted to driving aggressively when they are late, or in a hurry, and 72 percent believed that aggressive driving has grown worse in recent years.
"When we’re enclosed in our vehicles, we’re removed from the direct human contact that normally promotes courteous behavior in public settings," said Mike Right, AAA’s VP of Public Affairs. "If motorists could see themselves acting in public in the same way they drive their cars–tailgating, weaving or slowing down while distracted, yelling, or making angry gestures–they would understand the rudeness of their driving behavior."

Almost every driver is guilty of road rudeness at one time or another, Right said. Also, many drivers underestimate the safety impact for them of distractions or aggressive driving, although they are quick to point it out in other drivers.
The idea of being in a Car Bubble removed from human contact is a thought provoking one. I confess to saying things in the solitude of my car that I would never say other places. I have acted in angry ways when a car has cut me off or done something similar. Being in the Car Bubble has produced some bad behavior.

Here are a few questions from the article and my insightful responses:
  • Do I yield to other drivers, even when I think they’re rude?
    I do now but in years gone by I have made driving a competition as I tried to get the best of other drivers.
  • How do I react when another driver follows me too closely or signals that he wants to move into my lane?
    I think New Jersey drivers are the worst tailgaters. I cannot stand it when someone follows too close - sadly it pushes a few of my buttons.. a problem in itself.
  • Do I honor the “every other car” rule when two lanes are merging into one?
    I honor this rule about half of the time. I think that I will try harder. Just knowing that it is rude behavior might help me to act better.
  • Do I let other drivers know my intention to change lanes by using my turn signal?
    I absolutely do - most of the time. This is another one of my pet peeves. Albeit, not as bad as tailgating.
  • Do I let myself get distracted with other activities such as cell phone or smart phone usage while I drive?
    My last pet peeve is how my Palm Pre cell phone requires me to look at it to answer it. If traffic allows I have used the phone but not sure that I should. My contract is up this year and I will be looking for a different kind of phone - or get a bluetooth ear piece.
How you would have answered a few of the questions. Do you have any driving pet peeves?


  1. I'm an excellent driver. Dad lets me drive slow on the driveway every Saturday. 'Course the seats were originally brown leather now they're a pitiful red. But not on Monday, definitely not on Monday.

  2. "It's hard to be humble when you're perfect in everyway..." HaHaHa ~~

    Seriously, I am a courteous driver. I'm very seldom in a hurry, as I love giving myself plenty of time. I see nothing good coming from rude behavior in a car...

    I will let my husband speak for himself on the other hand...HaHa

  3. I was a professional class "A" semi truck driver in the Los Angeles area for over 35 years. I've seen every sort of rude and dangerous driver you can think of. Young motor cycle driver were the worst. I have so many rude driver pet peeves I could write a book!


  4. My buttons get pushed every time I drive in Kuwait. (it really IS a matter of prayer for me) It's like there are no rules at all. Stop signs are just suggestions and they will make a one lane road into two or three. You have to develop a different mentality to drive without accident here.

  5. Thanks for the responses all (except jrchaard).

    @Eddie - Are you saying that we have to actually stop at stop signs? Did you know that two of the commenters are California drivers? I personally adhere to the California stop sign protocol. :)


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