DETROIT (WWJ) – As folks head out for holiday shopping, they can avoid tension by not letting their spouse or friends do the driving.

A new study shows that over a third of people point to their spouses as being “the most annoying drivers.” When results for “my spouse” are looked at by gender, women were slightly more likely to choose “my husband” as annoying drivers (20 percent) than men were to choose their wives (16 percent).

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Who is the most annoying driver?

  • My spouse: 36 percent
  • A friend: 22 percent
  • My mother: 16 percent
  • My father: 9 percent
  • Other: 8 percent
  • My teen son: 5 percent
  • My teen daughter: 4 percent

Write-in candidates for “other” varied widely, but “my sister” had the most write-in votes, coming in at over 10 percent of the “other” choices.

Survey respondents were also asked to choose from 14 of the most annoying driving behaviors. “Following others too closely” and “driving too fast” were the top selections for everyone, but mothers, fathers and wives were also criticized for “driving too slowly.”

The most annoying driving habits are:

  • Following others too closely: 14 percent
  • Driving too fast: 13 percent
  • Driving too slowly: 10 percent
  • Cutting off other drivers: 8 percent
  • Talking on cellphone while driving: 7 percent
  • Merging too slowly onto the highway: 6 percent
  • Getting lost: 6 percent
  • Taking inconvenient and/or long routes: 6 percent
  • Fiddling with radio/CD player: 6 percent
  • Failing to stay in their lane: 6 percent
  • Not signaling: 5 percent
  • Taking turns sharply: 5 percent
  • Looking at passengers while talking: 4 percent
  • Braking at green lights: 4 percent
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Respondents were also asked to rank the irritation level of each habit with “it bugs me,” “it makes me angry” or “I can’t stand it.”

The behaviors picked most often for “I can’t stand it” were:

  • Talking on cell phone while driving
  • Failing to stay in their lane
  • Following others too closely
  • Cutting off other drivers

Interestingly, while “driving too fast” was a very common complaint, it’s not among the most infuriating to passengers. In fact, “driving too fast” had the highest percentage of people (57 percent) who merely said, “It bugs me.”

When asked how they react to a person’s lousy driving, over half said they comment or yell, but plenty of others bite their tongues:

How do you react to annoying driving?

  • I comment: 42 percent
  • I don’t say a word: 20 percent
  • I grab the door handle or dashboard: 16 percent
  • I yell: 11 percent
  • I make faces or noises: 9 percent
  • Other: 2 percent
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Write-in responses for “other” reactions offered a range of strategies for getting from point A to point B:

  • I crawl in the back so I can’t see
  • I look out the side window
  • I’ve given up
  • Pray
  • Close my eyes