Be kind behind the wheel

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With time at a premium and patience being pressured everytime they get behind the wheel it’s really not surprising that Canada’s drivers are becoming increasingly discourteous.

A poll released earlier this week by the Canadian Automobile Association says driver courtesy has been cast aside as three out of four drivers surveyed are showing more annoying habits today than they were five years ago, compared to two per cent who said other drivers have grown less irritating.

Topping the list among bad habits are road rage and being cut off in traffic, with 86 per cent of those surveyed citing those behaviours. Texting or talking on the phone – something that is now very illegal in Nova Scotia – tailgating, failing to signal or throwing trash out the window also rank high on the list of irritations that drivers exhibit when they get behind the wheel.

With some drivers facing longer commutes back and forth to the job and more people hitting the road to participate in recreational activities there are no doubt many people with stories to tell about rude and inconsiderate drivers.

It’s those jerks who speed, cut other drivers off, weave in and out of traffic and try to rule the road as if it’s their own that law enforcement officers are forced to deal with on a daily basis. It’s often those same drivers who can’t understand when their behaviours are questioned by police when pulled over to the side of the road for exhibiting one of those bad habits.

Not surprisingly insurance companies are reacting. Fortunately, for ratepayers, the response has been measured and focused on education and awareness, urging drivers to bring respect for others and to begin doing little things like giving that thank you wave when someone stops to let them through or exhibits some form of traffic kindness.

Hopefully these awareness campaigns work because inconsiderate, discourteous and inattentive driving can have very costly consequences not only in the pocketbook in terms of fines and higher insurance premiums, it can also be costly in collisions and carnage.

Organizations: Canadian Automobile Association

Geographic location: Canada, Nova Scotia

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    July 22, 2011 - 09:51

    and please, just drive. It is so very discouteous and illegal to block traffic and wave people through when you have the right of way. A four-way stop shouldn't be so hard to navigate.