Over half of 2,000 drivers questioned by Confused.com (54 per cent) said that cyclists riding side by side along country lanes is the most annoying thing about rural driving. The survey found that this entirely legal activity narrowly edged out drivers speeding dangerously (53 per cent) as the top annoyance, followed by dangerous overtaking (48 per cent).
Flytipping (37 per cent), potholes (35 per cent), and tractors (29 per cent) also earned mentions.
The Hereford Times reports that 40 per cent of UK drivers suffer road rage when driving on rural roads. (Road rage is the threshold – the survey sadly doesn’t cover the kind of impatience that must be required to attempt a manoeuvre like this.)
Other findings were that 23 per cent of drivers express their anger by shouting, 34 per cent by beeping their horn, while 14 per cent deploy the middle finger.
Motorists don't just lose their rag with cyclists though — 13 per cent of those questioned admitted shouting at an animal.
Of those, 17 per cent shouted at a sheep, 10 per cent at a cow, and 14 per cent at a bird. Shouting at a bird? That’s an impressive/frightening level of aggression to be carrying round with you.
47 per cent said they had swerved their car to avoid an animal.
63 per cent of drivers did not know the majority of fatal crashes occur on rural roads. The latest figures from the Department of Transport indicate that 93 fatalities were recorded on motorways last year, compared to 789 on built-up roads and 910 on non built-up — rural — roads.