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10 of the Worst Kiwi Driving Habits

Driving in New Zealand is a unique experience and can be hazardous at times due to our rugged terrain, fast-changing weather…and now our drivers, so it seems. We have gained quite a reputation for bad driving, with kiwis admitting to some pretty terrible driving habits.

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10 of the Worst Kiwi Driving Habits

 

Driving in New Zealand is a unique experience and can be hazardous at times due to our rugged terrain, fast-changing weather…and now our drivers, so it seems. We have gained quite a reputation for bad driving, with kiwis admitting to some pretty terrible driving habits.

Keep the driver’s footwell clear

So what bad driving habits do Kiwis hate the most? According to a 2015 Colmar Brunton poll on driving etiquette in New Zealand, the top three offenders were Tailgaters, Non-Indicators and Texters. Here’s a breakdown of the top ten most hated bad driver types revealed by the poll.

10. The Traffic Light Gambler (14%)

These drivers are among the most dangerous on New Zealand roads, impatiently ignoring orange and red traffic lights to the peril of other road users and pedestrians. Despite the dangers they pose to everyone, only 14% of survey respondents were enraged by their bad driving behaviour.

9. The Weasel (16%)

Nobody likes drivers that try to sneak into traffic, but there are plenty of other bad habits that make it higher up the list. These slippery characters cause low-speed collisions and traffic jams by forcing traffic to break suddenly to accommodate their selfish manoeuvres.

8. The Full-Beamer (20%)

Along with people that insist on driving with their fog spots on all the time, the full-beamer is usually utterly ignorant of the hazard their oblivion causes other drivers. Whether its lights glaring from behind or blinding lights coming right at you, glare from full beams can obscure the vision of other road users with potentially disastrous results. These drivers wind up about 20% of survey respondents.  

7. The Right Lane Hog (21%)

Those drivers that sit alone in the right-hand lane on the motorway obviously didn’t get the memo about driving etiquette. Although there isn’t a legal requirement to stay on the left, drivers that refuse to move aside to let others pass can cause frustration and that’s never a good thing on the road.

Possibly the most worrying factor is just how few of these drivers actually realise there’s someone right behind them - and drivers that are oblivious to what’s happening around them are downright dangerous. Move over idiot!

6. The Cut-Off (24%)

Impatient drivers that weave between lanes to get ahead, zoom down the outside of a lane and cut-in, or cut you up by pulling in front of you at the last minute aren’t only inconsiderate, they are extremely reckless. Their lack of regard for others puts them at greater risk of hitting other vehicles, particularly if they cut someone up that isn’t paying attention (another annoying driving habit). We’ve all got places to go and many of us are in a hurry, but that doesn’t excuse this type of bad driving behaviour.

5. The Mobile Chatter (26%)

Then there’s the idiot that thinks it’s okay to use their phone while driving, chatting away with one hand clamped to their ear. They might feel it’s no different to talking to a passenger, but any behaviour that takes your hand off the wheel or causes a distraction is dangerous. Since 2010 it’s been illegal to use a hand-operated phone while driving but it seems the threat of an $80 penalty and 20 demerit points isn’t enough to stop some people.

4. The Crawler (28%)

Some people drive way too slow. They may think they are being safer, but driving too slowly can be dangerous, causing frustrated motorists stuck behind them to take unnecessary risks in order to get past, or causing rear-end accidents. Most frustrating of all are those crawlers that hog the highway, oblivious to the long tail of traffic stuck behind them - if they would only pull over and let everyone past!

3. The Texter (32%)

Texting while driving is even more dangerous than talking on your phone when you’re behind the wheel, so it’s no surprise to see these people in the top 3 bad driver types. Taking your eyes off the road can cause catastrophic accidents and texting drivers are 23 times more likely to crash*. A recent study* shows that a crash resulting in serious injury or death is more likely to be caused by a distracted driver than a drinking one - a pretty sobering thought.

2. The Non-Indicator (42%)

Indicator use is a strange one in New Zealand, often either over-used or under-used - there doesn’t seem to be a happy medium. We’ve seen people indicating around 90-degree corners - yes we know you’re going that way - then watched in awe as they’ve pulled over to the side of the road minutes later without so much as a glance in the mirror, let alone a signal to warn you that they’re about to stop. There’s also those infuriating drivers that indicate ‘as’ they are making the manoeuvre, or give you a tiny, single blink when it’s already way too late to be of any use to you.

1. The Tailgater (49%)

The worst Kiwi drivers according to the poll are tailgaters, generating nearly 50% of the vote. Having someone driving right up your rear end can be pretty scary - if you have to stop suddenly you know it won’t end well for either of you. Frustration and impatience often lead to this bad driving behaviour, and things can escalate if the driver at the front retaliates by brake-checking etc, putting everyone at even more risk.

So that’s the top 10 worst driver types according to a New Zealand poll. I’m sure you have your own list of pet peeves, so we’d love to hear from you regarding what maddens you when you’re driving - or a bad habit you know would drive anyone else nuts (no road rage though - keep the comments friendly!)