B.C. drivers praise their own driving, but curse others'



    Worst driving habits survey identifies top irritants, reactions and
    recommendations

    BURNABY, BC, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - Over 60 per cent of drivers surveyed in a
recent BCAA/CKNW web poll rate their own driving as "above average",
describing their abilities as "...better than most". The same lofty praise
however, is not echoed when B.C. drivers grade their fellow drivers. Of the
5,700 drivers who participated in the survey, 58 per cent rated the B.C.
driving population as "average", while 28 per cent rated them as "below
average", and six per cent rated them as "...the worst in Canada".
    Despite grading themselves with higher marks than their peers, the
majority of participants admitted to a number of traffic "no-nos". Over the
past month, 82 per cent said they had exceeded the posted speed limit, 40 per
cent said they had talked on a cell phone and 26 per cent said they had honked
at another driver. B.C. drivers may not be perfect, but many of them, at
least, are polite - 24 per cent said they had apologized to another driver for
making a driving error.
    Survey participants were asked to select the number one pet peeve that
drives them around the bend. While no single driving irritant stood out,
participants were most annoyed by talking or texting on cell phones (17 per
cent); aggressive lane changing/cutting off other drivers (17 per cent);
failing to signal or signalling last minute (14 per cent) and; tailgating
(13 per cent).
    As well as being a top pet peeve, talking or texting on cell phones is
also the most commonly observed bad driving habit, according to drivers
surveyed. More than half (57 per cent) said they have seen other drivers doing
this "very often". The majority (82 per cent) also said texting on a cell
phone is a "very serious" problem. According to drivers surveyed, texting is
viewed as more serious than talking on a cell phone - 52 per cent of
participants said that this is a "very serious problem".
    So how are B.C. drivers managing their frustrations? The most typical
reaction, according to drivers surveyed, is swearing out loud to yourself
(41 per cent), followed by simply ignoring the situation (22 per cent) or
honking (11 per cent). Only one per cent of participants say they roll down
the window to yell or make hand gestures.
    When drivers were asked what they thought the most effective solution was
in reducing or eliminating poor driving habits, the majority said more driver
education and training (27 per cent); more police officers to enforce traffic
laws (22 per cent); and tougher penalties for driving infractions (21 per
cent).
    When asked how they could become safer drivers, most said they could
become more patient with other drivers (41 per cent) and leave for their
destinations earlier (28 per cent). When providing advice for someone learning
to drive, participants recommended taking lessons to drive defensively; being
respectful, courteous and patient with other drivers; and being attentive and
alert while driving.
    BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation Director, Allan Lamb is encouraged by the
survey results indicating that drivers generally know how to become safer
drivers. "Now the challenge is getting people to translate their good
intentions into actions," says Lamb.
    "One technique that drivers disappointingly failed to mention was the
concept of good role modelling," adds Lamb. "Studies show that young drivers
cited their parents, especially fathers, as their primary influence when
learning how to drive. We know good role modelling is very important for so
many things in life, including developing good driving habits."

    Other Survey Highlights:

    Of the 5,754 B.C. drivers who participated in the web survey:

    
    -   78 per cent said they had another driver tailgate them over the past
        month. Over the same period, 70 per cent said they had another driver
        cut them off; one in five (22 per cent) said they had another honk at
        them; and 19 per cent were sworn or gestured at.

    -   Over half (56 per cent) said they have seen other drivers speed "very
        often" in the past month. Over the same period, 46 per cent said they
        have seen other drivers failing to signal or signalling at the last
        minute.

    -   Over three quarters (76 per cent) of drivers consider running yellow
        or red lights a "very serious" problem. In addition, 68 per cent
        consider aggressive lane changing/cutting off other drivers as a
        "very serious" problem.

    -   Over two-thirds (69 per cent) consider road rage a "very serious
        problem", yet only six per cent said they witnessed road rage "very
        often".
    

    About the Survey:

    Between September 27 and October 16, 2007, 5,901 participants completed
the BCAA/CKNW Worst Driving Habits Survey. Survey results are based on the
5,754 respondents who regularly drive. While the survey provides a general
indication of driving opinions, it is not considered scientific and should not
be viewed as being representative of the driving population.

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 778,000 members and
$115 million in annual revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind
in B.C. and the third largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. In 2007,
BCAA was named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by international HR
consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report on Business
magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member advocacy,
visit www.bcaa.com. For information on the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation
visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

    
    Backgrounder

                     Top ten most annoying driving habits

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Talking or texting on cell phones                                    17%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Aggressive lane changing and cutting off other drivers               17%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Failing to signal or signaling last minute                           14%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tailgating                                                           13%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Running yellow or red lights                                          8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hogging the inside or left lane                                       8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Driving too slow                                                      5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Speeding                                                              4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Throwing litter or cigarette butts out the window                     2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Exhibiting road rage                                                  2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


         Top five infractions drivers admit doing (in the past month)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Exceeded a posted speed limit                                        82%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Talked on a cell phone                                               40%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Honked at another driver                                             26%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Swore at or gestured toward another driver                           13%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tailgated another driver                                              7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                           Bad driving behaviours:
             How often have you observed? How serious a problem?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Observed      Considered
                                                "very often"  "very serious"
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Talking on cell phones                                               52%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Texting on cell phones                                               82%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Talking or texting on cell phones                    57%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Speeding                                             56%             51%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Failing to signal/Signal last minute                 46%             42%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Running yellow or red lights                         37%             76%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tailgaiting                                          34%             57%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Aggressive lane changing/cutting off other drivers   30%             68%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hogging inside or left lane                          27%             20%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Being distracted                                     18%             50%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Staying in the right lane near highway entrances     18%             14%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Exhibiting road rage                                  6%             68%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    





For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Timm, Advisor, Media Relations, Tel:
(604) 268-5342; Cell: (778) 228-8859, Email: jennifer.timm@bcaa.com; Trace
Acres, Director, Corporate Communications & Government Affairs, Tel: (604)
268-5029; Cell: (604) 788-3753, Email: trace.acres@bcaa.com


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890