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Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel Cited as the Most Annoying Behavior

More than two-thirds of American drivers seethe at the sight of people texting behind the wheel, according to a recent article in USA Today.

The data came from Expedia’s 2014 Road Rage Report. The company sponsored a survey in which 1,001 adults were asked to identify the behaviors most likely to elicit road rage. Texting topped the list at 69 percent.

However, nearly as many drivers say they frequently text.

In the Expedia survey, 55 percent of drivers admitted to using their mobile phone while driving. They also said they prefer mobile apps to printed maps when planning trips, with 40 percent using a cellphone app for driving directions and 35 percent relying on a dashboard GPS, compared with 22 percent who use printed maps.

The survey was conducted April 29-May 5 in advance of the summer vacation season.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website Distraction.gov, at any given moment during daytime in the United States, approximately 660,000 motorists are talking on their cellphones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.

Besides generating road rage, texting while driving is deadly. NHTSA reports that 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in distraction-related crashes in 2012.

Using a cellphone while driving also is against the law in many states, including New York, where state law prohibits all drivers from talking or texting using a handheld device to prevent car crashes. This ban is a primary law, which means a law enforcement officer can ticket a driver for this offense, even when the driver has not committed any other traffic violation.

Many of the drivers surveyed by Expedia report they also hate drivers who tailgate (60 percent), multi-task (54 percent), drift between lanes (43 percent) and crawl below the speed limit (39 percent).

The survey even measured the “flip-off” habits of motorists and found just 17 percent admitted to using rude gestures expressing their aggravation over their fellow drivers. However, a whopping 69 percent reported being on the receiving end of such gestures.

Those surveyed said the rudest drivers are in big cities, with 71 percent of respondents ranking New York City among the five cities where drivers are rudest.

Despite their pet peeves and aggravations, Americans are helpful when they spot a stranded motorist. More than half of the drivers surveyed reported they have stopped to help a fellow motorist in distress.

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