Passengers Say Spouses Drive Them Crazy

Who’s the most annoying driver? Over a third of people surveyed say it’s their nearest and dearest.

A poll by in Foster City, California, asked 2,000 licensed drivers their opinions on annoying drivers. “Who is the most annoying driver?” inspired more than a third (36%) to name their spouse, followed by friends (22%), their mothers (16%) and their fathers (9%).

Women were slightly more likely to choose their husbands as annoying drivers than men were to choose their wives. “My sister” also garnered the most write-in votes, coming in at over 10% in the “Other” category.

Survey respondents were asked to choose from 14 driving behaviors that made their “most annoying” pick. “Following others too closely” and “driving too fast” were the top selections for everyone, but mothers, fathers and wives were also criticized for “driving too slowly.”

Other irritating driving habits were cutting off other drivers (8%) and talking on a cell phone while driving (7%). Merging too slowly onto the highway, getting lost, taking inconvenient and/or long routes, fiddling with a radio or CD player and failing to stay in a lane all came in a 6%.

Respondents were also asked to rank the irritation level of each habit. Most annoying behaviors were talking on a cell phone while driving, failing to stay in a lane, following others too closely and cutting off other drivers.

People react to lousy driving in varied ways. Over half said they comment or yell, but about a fifth bite their tongues. Other responses: grabbing a door handle or the dashboard (16%) or making faces or noises (9%).

Other responses included crawling in the back “so I can’t see,” looking out a side window, closing eyes, praying and giving up.