Toronto Traffic

Toronto Drivers' Top 10 Complaints

Toronto traffic safety officer Tim Burrows asked drivers to send him a list of driving behaviour that drove them nuts. Although wandering deer didn't make the list, most of the usual suspects -- like misbehaving cyclists and slow drivers -- made the top ten.

Here's the complete list (in reverse order), as released by Burrows earlier today:

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A couple of weeks ago, I asked Toronto via Twitter and Facebook, "Hey Toronto. What's your biggest pet peeve about other road users? Let me know. I'll be writing about it." Well, here are the results. I'm not surprised by any of the responses. Hey, I'm a driver too and what upsets me are the same things that upset you. What did surprise me was the order of the responses.

#10 - Slow drivers
I don't agree but it is your list. This wasn't laid out as drivers who are in the passing lanes too slow, just slow drivers in general. Maybe it's not that they are too slow - maybe you are too fast.

#9 - Slower-moving vehicles that pull into your lane
Often the driver looks only at the immediate space around them and not at the big picture of time zones and space.

#8 - Late left-turn signals
Argh!! Drives me nuts, too. Inconsiderate and by not communicating soon enough can really destroy traffic flow. If you would have let me know what you were doing, I wouldn't be stuck behind you now.

#7 - Distracted drivers
Quickly becoming the norm for serious risks to public safety. 27 times increased risk in collision. By the way...hands-free does not mean you are minimizing the distraction. It only means you are complying with the law. You are still distracted.

#6 - Cyclists who disobey the Highway Traffic Act
Only because this is your list did I include it. All of the responses have a degree of lawlessness to them but there were enough responses that specifically said cyclists, I had to include it here.

#5 - Left-lane bandits
Most people think this is reserved for the expressways and freeways, but any time there are multiple lanes you can see this happen. The order of populating lanes is from the right to the left and you only use the left lane for passing...pass over, return to the right.

#4 - Unsafe lane changes
These are horrible for so many reasons. The actions of unsafe lane changes can have a domino affect with other drivers over-reacting and causing further problems.

#3 - Follow too closely
Who doesn't get this? You are too close, vehicle in front stops, you can't stop in the space you left...problem. These are the laws of physics explained so simply anyone can get it.

#2 - Lane cutters
This came in most described as the drivers who leave the curb lane on an expressway, jump on an entrance ramp, and pass cars just to cram themselves back into the curb lane again. Illegal, rude, inconsiderate and for what...to pass four or five cars...wow, you got so much further ahead.

#1 - No signals
By a landslide! No wonder. Take a look and see how many people don't use their signals. What is very disturbing about this offence is that you can't fail to use your signal and not be causing a potential problem. Turn? Need to tell people about it. Lane change? Have to communicate with everyone.

(Here are honourable mentions that didn't make the Top 10: Fail to clear intersections, quick-stoppers, late mergers, left on amber/red, fail to assist in passing, fail to lower high beams.)

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As much sense as all the entries on the list make, I can't help but think that they're a little predictable -- and perhaps a bit too general. "Distracted drivers," for instance, seems to beg for further explication. Cell phone use? Mired in conversation? Sexual activity?

Have a specific traffic incident that you need to purge via talk therapy? Or, perhaps there's something that annoys you that didn't make Burrows list?

The comment thread is open.

Photo by tanjatiziana, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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