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Courtesy down on roadways in Hawaii — survey

June 26, 2012
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - There seems to be less aloha on Hawaii's roadways these days.

More than half of respondents to a new survey say they believe that Hawaii drivers are less courteous than they were five years ago.

More than 9 in 10 drivers said they'd encountered other drivers signaling late or not at all in the past three months. Two-thirds said someone didn't allow them to merge, while more than half said they'd been cut off sometime during the same three-month span, the survey said.

The study, conducted by Honolulu-based QMark Research, was commissioned by First Insurance Co. of Hawaii as part of a campaign to encourage courteous driving.

One gesture that's disappearing on roadways in Hawaii is the shaka, a common hand signal to express thanks, the study said.

Only 18 percent of residents said they use the shaka most often to acknowledge courtesy from other drivers, while 3 in 4 drivers said they prefer a simple wave of the hand.

Barbara Ankersmit, QMark's president, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that she was surprised the shaka was not very common in a state "where aloha and courtesy are important to acknowledge."

The study was conducted in February, starting with a voluntary email sample, then using telephone sampling to build a representative sample of Hawaii.

The study found that 85 percent of people thought it was either somewhat or very important for other drivers to acknowledge their courtesy on the road. And 91 percent said their courtesy is acknowledged either most of the time or every time.

While drivers were quick to acknowledge bad driving habits of others, they overwhelmingly said they themselves exhibited the behavior less often.

The study also found 27 percent of drivers acknowledged talking on their cellphone without a handless headset while driving, while 19 percent acknowledged texting behind the wheel.



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