What drives us crazy

Episode 8 of the RACQ Living podcast discusses the most frustrating road-related behaviours of 2017.

Involved in the discussion were RACQ Motoring Advice Manager Joel Tucker, RACQ Education Officer Dave Webber and Courier Mail columnist Belinda Seeney. Here are the top five worst behaviours as voted by RACQ members.

5. Motorists displaying aggressive behaviour.

Most of us have been on the receiving end of aggressive behaviour on the roads. It’s never a pleasant experience and this kind of behaviour can affect more than our egos. 

“I’m more likely to make mistakes if I’m under pressure like that because you can’t prepare for it and that’s just a recipe for disaster,” Belinda said.

Dave added that the best thing to do when faced by an aggressive driver was to slow down and let them pass. If they begin following you, then make a beeline for the nearest police station or public place.

4. Motorists talking/sending text messages on hand-held mobile phones.

A recent RACQ study found that using your phone while driving makes you four times more likely to crash. While we’ve all heard the statistics on phone-related road fatalities, many still seem to think they are invincible on the roads.

“Two eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel, that’s what’s most important,” Dave said.

3. Motorists who increase their speed when you try to overtake them.

While this one is a big no, it can become particularly dangerous when travelling at high speeds. We may need to be somewhere, but it’s important to maintain the appropriate speed level and be considerate of other drivers.
Most members in the survey said they often saw this behaviour when drivers were merging on and off highways. Columnist Belinda agreed and emphasized how deadly this behaviour could be. 

2. Motorists who incorrectly use indicators

Incorrectly indicating is one of Joel’s most hated road faux pas’ and contributed to more than 400 road infringements in Queensland between 2016-2017.  

“Having worked in road safety for many years, I pick up on a lot of things out there on the roads that aren’t quite right – for me, personally, it’s not indicating,” he said.

“This is one where people know that indicators are a communication tool.

“So, if you don’t tell people what you’re doing, its likely to be unexpected and people don’t appreciate having unexpected things happen.”

1. Drivers who follow too closely/ tailgate

Tailgating took top spot on the list for good reason. Not only is it frustrating but also has the potential to end in a nasty crash.

“Tailgating has always been close to the top of the list and that’s because it’s dangerous, it distracts people and it also makes them feel threatened,” Joel said.

Queensland Transport states that a car should drive at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front during ideal conditions. Travelling any closer than this puts everyone on the road at risk.

“You just don’t feel safe,” Dave said.

“If you’re braking suddenly, you’re worried about the back of your vehicle.”