New Zealand drivers guilty of driving themselves crazy

Drivers who are more tolerant of others’ bad habits on the road are more likely to be guilty of poor road behaviour themselves, research by insurer AMI has indicated.

IAG, which trades under the AMI, State, NZI, Lumley and Lantern brands, worked with research specialists Nielsen in asking people to confess their worst driving habits.  The same group of people were then asked what behaviours they find most annoying in other drivers and the results were compared.

The study revealed drivers aged 25 to 39 to be the most forgiving of poor road etiquette compared with any other age group.

For example, almost a third of people (36%) within this age bracket admitted to texting while driving but only one in five said they felt annoyed when they saw someone else do it (22%).

Talking on a mobile phone while driving was a pet peeve of a quarter of drivers aged 25 – 39 (25%), despite a greater number admitting to doing it themselves (27%).

More than a third of people aged 25 – 39 confessed to having driven through a red or amber light in the last six months (39%) but just over a quarter said they felt annoyed when they saw someone else run a red light (27%), which is illegal in New Zealand and if spotted by police can attract a fine of up to $150.

Drivers aged 40 and over were best behaved out of all the age groups and least tolerant of mobile phone use while driving, the survey showed.

Just 14% of people aged 40- 54 confessed to messaging while motoring but the same behaviour in others was noted as annoying by 41%. Similarly, 17% admitted chatting on their phone without hands free and 42% said the behaviour irritated them.

People aged 55+ were even less tolerant of mobile phone use while driving and the least likely across the age groups to indulge in bad road user behaviours themselves.

More than half (52%) of people in this age group were annoyed by the sight of someone on the phone while driving, but only one in ten said they do it themselves.

Similarly, 47% said they found texting while driving annoying but only 5% admitted they are guilty of doing it too.

Driving in bus lanes outside of permitted times was seen as one of the least offensive behaviours other drivers can get up to, with only 3% of respondents saying they found it annoying and fewer still admitting to doing it themselves (1%).

Behaviour Number of people who are annoyed by the behaviour Number of people who do it. 15-24 years old 25-39 years old 40-54 years old 55+ years old
Talking on your mobile phone 36% 16% 24% 21% 25% 27% 42% 17% 52% 10%
Texting while driving 34% 18% 23% 32% 22% 36% 41% 14% 47% 5%
Run a red light 39% 36% 40% 35% 27% 39% 41% 48% 49% 43%
Use a bus lane 5% 3% 8% 3% 6% 4% 3% 4% 3% 1%

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