In a recent RAC poll, an astonishing 44% of drivers say they have been kept waiting for more than 15 seconds by drivers who have failed to notice a traffic light has gone green – that’s often long enough for lights to change to red again.
A frustrated 64% of drivers surveyed have been left waiting for 10 or more seconds.
Nearly half of the 2,498 drivers (46%) surveyed said it should take no more than three seconds to get going on green, with a third (35%) thinking between four and six seconds is a reasonable time.
Younger drivers more irritated by slow reactions at lights
Statistically speaking, those who get the most annoyed when others are slow to react to the lights turning green are male drivers aged between 17 and 34 with a huge 64% saying they get frustrated.
Men, generally, are more likely to be frustrated by other drivers who are slow to react to lights going green than women (50% v 41%).
It should only take three seconds to move off when traffic lights change to green – and anything longer is very likely to lead to anger and frustration for those behind waiting, particularly if they’re aged 44 or under.
While the overall level of frustration felt about drivers who are slow to move off when the lights change is evenly split with 46% saying they get annoyed and 54% saying it doesn’t bother them, the younger the driver the more likely they are to be irritated.
Drivers from Yorkshire and the Humber region are the most impatient in the UK with 55% confessing to getting annoyed by ‘slow coaches’ at traffic lights, compared drivers in Wales who are the most accepting with just 34% getting annoyed.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “While three seconds is obviously a very short time, anything longer than this can start to seem like an eternity when you desperately want to get through a set of traffic lights and the person in front is taking forever to get going. When you think that some lights only stay green for 15 seconds, this severely limits the number of vehicles that can get through before red comes up again, and this in turn makes jams – and potentially even air pollution – worse.”