Driving survey: Fewer shakas on Hawaii roadways - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Driving survey: Fewer shakas on Hawaii roadways

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii may be at the crossroads of courtesy. While road rage may not be commonplace, new data shows local drivers are less civil behind the wheel than they used to be. We've already been told we have the worst traffic in the country - now this?

It seems the road to rudeness is as jammed as the H-1 during rush hour. 55% of Hawaii drivers find fellow motorists' manners are worse than ever.

"I think the survey results did hit a nerve, and I think this is a topic of conversation that everyone's engaging in," says Kaela Wasnich from First Insurance Company of Hawaii.

FICOH sponsored the research of 800 respondents, statewide. The study revealed the worst offenses include drivers signaling late or not at all. They don't allow you to merge - or you get cut off. Other motorists honk in anger, steal a parking space, or obstruct your vehicle. Other offenses include making obscene gestures, tailgating, and flashing their lights.

Has it happened to you? FICOH also asked respondents to give others on the road a letter grade. "42% of the drivers polled gave their fellow drivers a "C" grade for courtesy," explains Wasnich. "So, while we expected there to be that sort of feedback, even we were surprised that the grade was that low."

"Everyone's racing to get to nowhere," says Nick Smallwood, CEO of CCH, Courier Corporation of Hawaii.

After more than two decades navigating local roads, Smallwood and his 85 drivers have seen incivility accelerate, and that's changed the way they've had to do business. "Having to drive offensively AND defensively," he adds. "So, we have to look out for people that are not paying attention to us, as well as paying attention ourselves."

Smallwood asks drivers to give CCH trucks space to merge and room to brake, and FICOH hopes to make mannerless motorists more aware. It's launched a "Take the HI road" campaign - asking people to be more patient and even thankful when others are courteous. If you head to its website, ficoh.com/takethehiroad, and share your mahalo for acts of kindness on the road, FICOH will enter your name in a weekly drawing for a "road relaxation kit" – which includes small tchotchkes. The website also has advice on how to be courteous driver yourself.

Finally, the study found that a friendly wave goes a long way, and drivers will be more likely to pay that kind gesture forward.

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