Rude, discourteous driving on upswing: Poll

Bad behaviour brings higher risk of crashes and road rage, warns ICBC

An angry driver makes discourteous gestures at a passing vehicle in 2008 on the Sea-to-Sky Highway north of Furry Creek.

It’s getting uglier on the roads, according to an opinion survey of B.C. motorists conducted for ICBC.

Fifty-five per cent of Lower Mainland residents believe drivers in their community have become less courteous over the past five years, the Ipsos Reid survey found.

Forty per cent said it’s about the same while just three per cent thought drivers are more courteous.

ICBC psychologist John Vavrik said rude, discourteous driving can trigger road rage incidents.

“Aggressive or careless driving such as cutting off other drivers, speeding, tailgating, talking on cellphones and not using proper signals is almost always what incites road rage,” Vavrik said. “While road delays play a part in adding to driving stress, it’s the behaviour of other drivers that leads to the greatest frustration.”

He said the heated emotions that result can impair a driver’s ability to concentrate, react and make smart driving decisions, putting them at increased risk of crashing.

On balance, those surveyed gave their fellow drivers a C letter grade for courteous driving, while residents in the rest of B.C. gave their local drivers a C+.

Most drivers denied they’re the problem.

A large majority gave themselves either an A or B grade for driving courtesy.

“There’s a clear disconnect between how drivers perceive their own driving behaviours and the reality of their driving,” Vavrik said.

The single biggest peeve?

Drivers who signal late or not at all – an infraction experienced by 82 per cent of those surveyed in the last three months. Seventy-one per cent reported being tailgated, 68 per cent said other drivers refused to let them merge or change lanes and half said they’d been cut off.

Less common grievances were drivers who honk horns, yell, make obscene gestures, wave arms or fists, flash lights or steal your parking spot.

Two per cent reported another driver got out of their vehicle to confront them.

Nobody admitted to doing that but 30 per cent admitted to honking in anger over the past three months and between 10 and 20 per cent said they’ve yelled, blocked a merging car, tailgated or failed to correctly signal in recent months.

Ninety-four per cent say they acknowledge with a wave when another driver is courteous.

Most of those surveyed said they believe their wave in turn encourages others to be more courteous.

Two-thirds said it’s important to them that other drivers acknowledge their courtesy, but the rest said it’s not that important.

The online survey polled 899 adult B.C. drivers.

 

VIDEO

A road rage incident in Langley earlier this year.

Just Posted

Comedy, chicken poop and dancing at Lytton Festival

This year’s festival will honour longtime supporter Shirley James

LETTER: Recreational angling has low-impact on Fraser salmon

Jason Tonelli writes about his displeasure at the call to close recreational fishing on the Fraser

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read