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Canadian drivers’ No. 1 pet peeve: cellphone use at the wheel

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I drive a lot. Between commuting to work from the boonies and ferrying two sons to football, soccer and music practice, it seems that I am forever in my car.

Accordingly, there are habits of other drivers that get under my skin. No. 1 among these is the rude dude who fails to wave appreciatively after I graciously get him out of a jam by yielding to allow him to cut in ahead of me.

However, I am alone in this. My gripe failed to register on a new survey showing that the top pet peeve among licensed Canadians is drivers who talk on their cellphone while behind the wheel.

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An RBC Insurance survey said that motorists who use their cellphone while driving was the No. 1 complaint of 55 per cent of respondents, followed by tailgating (45 per cent) and drivers who fail to indicate lane changes or turns (39 per cent).

"It's not surprising that cellphone use tops our list of driving pet peeves," said Natalie Dupuis, of RBC Insurance, in a press release. "Whether you're texting, talking on the phone, or tweeting, these behaviours are not only annoying, but are unsafe and break driving laws."

And how well do Canadians react when faced with a driver committing a transgression against traffic?

Not well. The survey said 25 per cent of Canadian drivers are likely to take action against the offender. One in 10 will yell while others will resort to the actions that upset them in the first place: tailgating, speeding to get ahead of the offender or slowing down, braking on purpose or cutting the other vehicle off.

"It's troublesome to see that one-in-four Canadians exhibit some form of aggressive driving behaviour," said Dupuis. "It's important for drivers to not only realize the impact of their actions and avoid these types of responses, but to practise safe driving behaviours while on the road."

Ipsos Reid conducted the poll for RBC Insurance from March 28 to April 3, and interviewed 1,010 Canadians licensed to operate a motor vehicle. The survey is considered accurate to within 3.5 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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About the Author
Deputy Editor at Globe Drive

Darren McGee is an editor and writer for Globe Drive. More

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