SINGAPORE - Remember to signal before changing lanes the next time you are driving. That was the top pet peeve of road users in Singapore, from an online poll conducted by The Straits Times about bad road habits.
The poll garnered over 2,200 responses, of which about 26 per cent expressed frustration about this.
A close second with over 24 per cent of the votes was drivers who speed up when they see someone trying to filter into their lanes. Rounding off the top three was drivers who road hog, with almost 16 per cent of respondents picking it as the most detested road habit.
The Straits Times reported last week that a February poll by insurer AXA found that motorists felt less safe on the road these days. Nearly two-thirds of the 458 motorists surveyed cited aggressive drivers, drivers who send text messages while driving, and drivers who drink before they take the wheel as the top culprits.
As for their own dangerous driving habits, six in 10 admitted running an amber light. Exceeding speed limits by over 10kmh came in second, and answering the phone without a hands-free set was third.
When asked about their motivation to drive safely, most ranked demerit points higher than consideration for the safety of others.
Mr Gopinath Menon, vice-chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council, says he is not surprised with the results of the Straits Times poll.
“I believe the top two points are interlinked. We have aggressive drivers who speed up when they see someone else attempting to enter their lanes. Drivers will not want to signal because it will then reduce their chances of successfully switching lanes,” he says.
Mr Menon says this can be solved with increased road courtesy and kindness, and there can be campaigns to educate drivers. “But at the end of the day it is all down to the behaviour of individuals.”
Mr Khairul Jailani, 25, says he is irked drivers who do not signal before they change lanes. “It is very dangerous, especially those who change lanes abruptly,” says the civil servant who drives regularly. He feels that it is not that difficult to just flip the lever, but it has become a habit for some not to do that.
“Some think that they are racers, cutting lanes without signalling.”
Undergraduate Aliff Faisal says he is annoyed by motorists who speed up when they see someone trying to filter onto their lane.
It is frustrating especially when it is during the peak hour, and everyone is trying to rush home after a long day, says the 23-year-old. “After an entire day of stress, that one moment can really be a breaking point."
The bad road habits affect not only drivers. Motorists who honk indiscriminately, which was the seventh most detested road habit, have some pedestrians riled up too.
Human resource executive Lin Junyi, 23, says that impatient drivers get on her nerves. "There have been instances where I was crossing the road and the green man starts blinking, and there are cars that honk at me! I’m like, ‘Goodness, why are they even doing that?’."