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UK drivers' top ten hates!

By Tom Ramage

...but no mention of speed cameras!
...but no mention of speed cameras!

Drivers’ biggest summer (litter) bugbears have been revealed by the AA.

Top of the list are litterbugs, slow caravans and groups of cyclists!

The AA/Populus research on Monday (28) revealed the drivers’ top ten hates and there was no doubt about the worst offenders - the litterbugs who throw rubbish out of their car windows.

A third (34%) of drivers said this anti-social group topped the list of things that annoy them most about other road users in the summer.

This fell to just one in five (19%) of young drivers (18-24) and rose in the 45-54 age group to 37%,

Slow-moving caravans came second with one in six (15%) drivers getting hot under the collar when they encounter them.

Groups of cyclists are the third most unpopular according the AA/Populus poll of 23, 085 drivers, although there was significant regional variation on this.

Overall, almost one in six (13%) cited groups of cyclists as the thing which annoyed them most about other road users in the summer. But this fell to one in ten (10%) in the East of England, and rose to 16% and 18% in the South East and Northern Ireland.

The Highway Code contains rules for cyclists and drivers on how they should interact with each other. Drivers are required to leave ‘at least as much room’ as they would when overtaking a car; while cyclists are not supposed to ride more then two abreast and stay in single file on narrow or busy roads, and bends.*

The full list of results shows the top ten summer annoyances as:

• Throwing rubbish out of the window 34%

• Slow caravans 15%

• Groups of cyclists 13%

• Inconsiderate parking 10%

• Dawdling / lost drivers 7%

• Loud music with the roof down or windows open 7%

• Sightseers stopping without thought or consideration 5%

• Overloaded cars with no view to the rear 4%

• Groups of motorcyclists 1%

• Half naked drivers 0%

• None of the above 4%

Edmund King, AA President, said: "Litter bugs have understandably emerged as the clear ‘winner’ in our summer top ten of driving irritants.

"Chucking rubbish out of a moving vehicle really annoys me as it is totally unnecessary, messes up the environment; it’s also dangerous to other road users and those that clean up. Previous AA/Populus research showed that many drivers would support tough penalties, such as points on their driving licence, large fines and community sentences for littering drivers.

"It is interesting that some motorists find anything that slows them down an irritant whether slow caravans or groups of cyclists. All road users need to show consideration for fellow road users whether on two wheels, four wheels, six wheels or even horse legs. Common courtesy and consideration on both sides can improve road safety and reduce road rage this summer.

"We’ve been enjoying some fantastic weather so far this summer, so hopefully these annoyances won’t stop Britain’s motorists enjoying the sun and having a brilliant few months.

"We’re even giving away three VW California campervans to help make this summer the best ever for some lucky AA members**."

As well as the campervan giveaway, the AA is also offering drivers, who take out breakdown cover, of 15 months membership for the price of 12, to try and take some of the stress out of their journeys this summer and beyond.

The 15-for12 offer forms part of the AA’s Summer Saviours campaign, designed to give UK drivers their best summer ever.

Other activity in the campaign includes five specially designed flower power AA hippy vans, which are out on the roads with breakdown patrols.

Anyone who spots one of the vans out and about and tweets @TheAA_UK using #AAhippyvan with the location and time they saw the van will be entered into a draw to win a 50 Amazon voucher**. People can also enter by re-tweeting #AAhippyvan tweets sent from @TheAA_UK and @AAPresident.

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