Inside the Car, the “Backseat Driver” is Least Popular; New York City Drivers Tabbed as Nation’s Rudest
Today, Expedia.com®, one of the world’s largest full service travel sites*, released the results of the Expedia 2015 Road Rage Report, a yearly analysis of driving etiquette. The study was commissioned by Expedia® and conducted by GfK, an independent global market research company. Among other queries, GfK asked 1,000 Americans to rank the behavior of their fellow motorists in order of aggravation.
For the second year running, “The Texter” generated the most fury, earning the scorn of 26% of Americans. “The Tailgater” (13%) ranked second, narrowly edging out “The Left Lane Hog” (12%), “The Crawler” (10%) and “The Multitasker” (7%).
The full Expedia 2015 Road Rage Report, as well as an illustrative infographic, can be found here on the Expedia Viewfinder blog.
“Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, and a moment when millions of drivers will take to the road,” said John Morrey, vice president and general manager, Expedia.com. “Now that drivers can book rental cars through Expedia’s updated mobile app, we’ve set out with the Road Rage study to examine what sorts of behavior make travel more pleasurable, and what sorts of behavior should be avoided. The study demonstrates that travelers, whether they’re on the road or in the air, expect – and reward – courtesy and respect from their fellow travelers.”
The least popular in-car behavior is “back-seat driving,” cited as the top peeve by 52% of Americans. The “Reluctant Co-Pilot” – the co-pilot who won’t help navigate – ranked second, by 12% of Americans, followed by the “Radio Hog” (10%), the “Snoozer” (8%), the “Shoe Remover” (7%) and the “Snacker” (6%).
Americans: Drive As I Say, Not As I Do
Fifty-one percent of Americans report that they loathe sharing the road with bad drivers, more than cyclists, buses, taxis, joggers and walkers combined. Nearly all Americans (97%) rate themselves as “careful” drivers, but feel that only 29% of fellow drivers merit the description.
Sixty-one percent admit to speeding, while 29% admit to following other vehicles too closely. Twenty-six percent have yelled or used profanity at another driver. Seventeen percent have made a rude gesture, but 53% have been on the receiving end of one. One quarter of Americans admit to “regularly or occasionally” talking on their mobile phone while driving.
Americans offered multiple reasons for driving misbehavior: 21% reported that they were running late. Fourteen percent felt provoked by other drivers and 13% felt triggered by another driver who wasn’t paying attention.
Four percent of Americans report having exited their vehicle to angrily engage with another motorist, and 13% of Americans have felt physically threatened by another driver. The news was not all dire: 40% of Americans did report having stopped to help another driver in distress.
New York City Drivers Rank As Nation’s Rudest
Among major cities, New York City was cited as having the rudest drivers according to 42% of Americans. Thirty-two percent chose Los Angeles drivers, 18% felt the nation’s rudest drivers could be found in Chicago, while 16% said the same of Washington, DC. Only 1% of Americans felt that Portland, Oregon drivers were the nation’s rudest.
Apps and the Open Road
One out of five Americans have downloaded apps specifically to use while driving. Somewhat surprisingly, nearly one third (32%) of Americans report that they still typically rely on written/printed directions when driving, versus apps, and dashboard GPS or their vehicle’s navigation system. Google Maps was the clear favorite, preferred by 35% of Americans. Twelve percent of Americans rely instead on Apple Maps.
Eighty-three percent of Americans have used a map app while in the car. Forty-six percent have used a traffic app. Thirty-eight percent have used a music app, and have also used weather apps. Thirty-five percent of driving Americans have used an app to find a restaurant, 28% to find a gas station, and 16% to find a hotel.
Gas Price Predictions and Attitudes towards Rental Cars
Additional findings from the Expedia 2015 Road Rage Survey include:
64% of Americans believe gas prices will rise this summer, versus 12% who believe they will fall.
Nearly 40% of Americans would refuse to drive in a country, such as England, where motorists use the opposite side of the road.
25% of Americans have rented a car within the past year. 26% have never rented a car at all.
80% of Americans typically rent cars for leisure purposes. The most important feature in a rental car decision is price (cited by 76% of Americans).
10% of Americans “strongly or somewhat agree” with the statement that they are “more likely to break the law in a rental car than in their own car.”
The complete list of Road Rage etiquette violators follows:
The Texter (26%)
The Tailgater (13%)
The Left-Lane Hog (12%)
The Crawler (10%)
The Multitasker (7%)
The Drifter (7%)
The Inconsiderate (6%)
The Swerver (5%)
The Speeder (4%)
The Unappreciative (3%)
The Honker (2%)
The Red Light Racer (1%)
About the Survey
The study was conducted online using the GfK “KnowledgePanel,” an online probability-based panel designed to be representative of the US general population, not just the online population. The study consisted of approximately 1,065 interviews conducted between April 3 – 5, 2015 among adults aged 18+ with a valid US driver’s license. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points.
Expedia.com is one of the world’s largest full service travel sites*, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top vacation destinations, cheap tickets, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.
Expedia, Expedia.com, Expedia Viewfinder, and the Airplane logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners © 2015 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST # 2029030-50
*Based on a comparison of other full-service online travel agencies, defined as those providing booking and services related to air, hotel, cruise, car and activities to a global customer base. Data based on comScore Media Metrix for Expedia, Inc. Sites, Worldwide, Average Monthly Unique Visitors, Oct ’12-Sept ’13.
GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.
GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications is a division of GfK. The group specializes in customized public affairs and public opinion polling, media and corporate communications research, and corporate reputation measurement in the US and globally, in addition to delivering a broad range of customized research studies.