EDITORIAL: Rude drivers? Look in the mirror

Most motorists don't think they're part of the problem when it comes to rudeness on the road.

They cut in without signalling, speed, tailgate, yak on their cellphones and blast their horns in anger.

Lower Mainland motorists are a belligerent bunch. So says a new opinion survey conducted by Ipsos Reid for ICBC.

According to the poll, 55 per cent of residents believe drivers in their communities have become less courteous over the past five years. Forty per cent said it’s about the same while three per cent thought drivers are more courteous.

Most people surveyed (82 per cent) had encountered fellow drivers who were late in signalling or didn’t signal at all – the single biggest peeve cited in the survey.

Seventy-one per cent reported being tailgated, 68 per cent said other drivers refused to let them merge or change lanes and half said they’d been cut off.

But there were also the bad-mannered louts who yelled, swore, made obscene gestures, waved their arms or fists, flashed their lights menacingly, and even (let the road rage begin) stole parking spots.

Who are these motoring miscreants, these behind-the-wheel warriors whose heated emotions can impair other drivers’ ability to concentrate and react on the road, thereby putting everyone at increased risk of crashing?

Certainly not you… right?

Along with drivers behaving badly, the poll also revealed an amusing disconnect: drivers in denial.

While those surveyed gave their fellow motorists a “C” letter grade for courteous driving, they gave themselves a stellar “A” or “B” rating.

In other words, most Metro drivers don’t believe they’re part of the problem.

The late comedian George Carlin once said, “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”

Next time you get annoyed in traffic, better give that mirror a second look.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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