Survey: Texters Make Most Annoying Drivers

The roads are full of annoying motorists, and navigating the sea of distracted drivers can be dangerous and maddening. There are the tailgaters, the turn-signal averse, the left-lane hoggers ... the list goes on ... and on.

But what behavior really gets your goat? According to a Consumer Reports survey, texters top the list of most annoying drivers. Consumer Reports polled 895 Americans in a January 2012 telephone survey and asked the respondents to rate 20 common driver complaints on a scale from one (not annoyed) to 10 (very annoyed).

Texting while driving (8.9), able-bodied drivers parking in handicapped spaces (8.7) and tailgaters (8.4) were the top three gripes.

Age and gender had a lot to do with the results: Women were more irritated by texters and tailgaters, and younger drivers were less bothered by loud music than older motorists.

See the full list below.

Most annoying behaviors Scale 1-10
Texting on a cell phone while driving 8.9
Able-bodied drivers parking in handicapped spaces 8.7
Tailgaters 8.4
Drivers who cut you off 8.3
Speeding and swerving in and out of traffic 8.2
Taking up two parking spaces 7.7
Talking on a cell phone while driving 7.6
Not letting you merge into a lane 7.6
Not dimming high beams when approaching 7.6
Not using turn signals 7.5
Slow drivers dawdling in the passing lane 7.3
Jaywalkers stepping in front of your car 7.3
Excessive horn honking 7.1
Slowing down to “rubberneck” at accidents 7.0
Not turning on lights when it’s raining or at dusk 6.8
Drivers who are indecisive about where to turn 6.6
Slow drivers on a two-lane road who won’t pull over 6.5
Not going when the light turns green 6.1
Bicyclists who don’t let you by 5.8
Cranking up the radio volume 5.7

2012 Annual Auto Issue: Survey Reveals Top Gripes Among Drivers (Consumer Reports)

By Jennifer Geiger | February 24, 2012 | Comments (13)



I hate when fat people have handicap stickers just because they are fat and are too lazy to walk; then they waddle to the front of the store and sit on a motorized scooter. Get your fat a** in the gym!


Not removing snow from car before driving should be on that list! I'm always shocked at how much of that I see, and how often I get blinded by jerks pulling onto the highway then releasing bucketloads of snow from their roof onto the rest of us. Minivans are the WORST offenders.

Mike C

It really bugs the hell out of me when people drift out of their lane to make a turn.

There are things I do not understand, as people do not respect the parking spaces for disabled people

steve georgia

I almost get irked by the people driving around with the handicapped placard always on the mirror, I'm disabled(Not fat), But the placard says: Remove when not in use!(Not a direct quote), But I always put mine up only when I'm in a handicapped parking spot...


I am uncomfortable that you use texting while driving in a list of things that make people "uncomfortable." It is against the law. Why didn't you put drunk driving on the list? Texting while driving has proven to be just as dangerous.


One of my biggest complaints are drivers who don't turn into their adjacent lane on a two lane street. Why people can't turn the wheel a little harder and allow BOTH lanes of traffic to simultaneously turn onto a two lane street on a green light is a total mystery to me.


Texting and driving is not illegal in all states. Comparing it to drunk driving is not totally accurate - although the level of distraction is probably similar.

I notice motorcycles weaving in and out of a traffic jam or shooting up the shoulder of the road are not in there. I would put this high up on the list.


Not as hazardous as texting or driving drunk, but the people who rip my knickers are the ones who stop their car at the end of the driveway, stroll over to the mailbox and get the mail, then leisurely walk back to the car, leafing through the mail all the while, and sit in the car opening the interesting-looking envelopes, engine rumbling all the while, before eventually putting the vehicle back into drive and proceeding another 20 feet into the driveway, where the car is finally parked. As if that is somehow preferable to simply parking the car and getting the engine turned off as quickly as possible and THEN fetching the mail.


People who speed up to pass you on the right when you have your right signal on to let them know you need to get off at an upcoming exit.


My pet peeve is drivers who do not move out into the intersection at a green light.

Jessica A. Coleman

To counter comment on Ron from Feb 27, 2012: I hate when people expect me to inch out into an intersection when the light turns green or follow behind another car that has pulled out. It is called "stacking" when a line of cars follows the first car that pulls into the center of an intersection when the light turns green. That is illegal in many states, if not all.

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