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The nine highway habits that drive Canadians absolutely nuts

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We love heading up to the cottage after a long week at work. What we do not look forward to, however, is the hours that we’ll inevitably spend stuck in traffic trying to get out of the city.

There’s nothing worse than tackling a busy road at the end of a long day, especially when other drivers are displaying behaviour that’s downright un-Canadian—not to mention dangerous. Here are the highway habits that make us want to give up the drive altogether.

1. Rubbernecking at wildlife without pulling over

Unless there’s deer directly on the road, people do not need to slow down to gawk. If they really want a good look, stopping is the correct course of action—but wildlife selfies are a big no-no.

2. Not zipper-merging on 400 highways

Summer is construction season, which means that closed lanes are a necessary evil. Drivers who speed up to prevent a merge aren’t just inconsiderate, they’re also the ones causing long lines of traffic for the rest of us.

3. Littering out the window

Not only is tossing cigarette butts and gum out the window unsafe, it’s also bad for the environment.

4. Driving in the passing lane

To prevent congestion, the left lane should be used exclusively for passing. People need to pretend that it’s made of quicksand and get out of there as soon as possible lest we all get stuck.

5. Lazing in the middle lane

Many people may think hanging out in the middle lane is safe and comfortable, but it’s really just as annoying—and dangerous—as driving in the passing lane. Why? If drivers are going slower than the flow of traffic, hogging the middle lane results in cars using the right-hand lane to pass, which can lead to accidents. It’s also one of the biggest sources of congestion on motorways.

6. Not going a consistent speed

Unless you’re towing a load, there’s no reason why anyone should drive 90km/hour one minute and 120km/hr the next. Drivers need to pick a speed and stick to it.

7. Distracted driving

No, you really don’t need to check your texts right this second. Drivers using their cell phones cause 25 percent of accidents, making mobile phone use the cause of more road deaths than impaired driving. It’s also responsible for more deaths than not wearing a seatbelt.

8. Tailgating

Following too closely is one of the top causes of collisions in Canada. We may all be stuck in traffic, but people need to back off a bit—particularly if you’re towing a load such as a horse trailer, boat, or RV.

9. Not indicating

Why are people so hesitant to indicate? Using your blinker doesn’t cost a cent, takes a second, and saves lives.