The latest survey from the AA reveals which bad motoring habits are infuriating UK drivers the most when out on the road – but are you guilty of any of them?
The AA has been polling its members since 2008 to uncover which motoring bad habits continue to drive us mad when we’re behind the wheel – here’s a countdown of the eight most obnoxious driving habits for 2017:
Driving right up behind someone is the most irritating (and obviously very dangerous) habit according to the survey with the practice topping the polls now for six out of the past seven years. It’s also a habit that 49% of motorists have admitted to doing in the hope of getting the other car to speed up (or get out of the way). Whatever the motivation, it is believed that one in five motorists have been involved in an accident or a near miss because of tailgating.
Finally, some of us might be tempted to ‘brake check’ the tailgater by either applying or slamming on our brakes to give them a ‘scare’. As this video shows though, it’s a truly lousy idea:
Talking on a Mobile (25%)
The latest drive by the government to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel is one that will have been welcomed by a majority of drivers judging from the survey’s results. And rightly so because you are four times more likely to be involved in a crash if you use your mobile while driving.
To act as a deterrent, a recent law change saw the penalty for using or holding a phone while driving increase from three to six points on your licence and the fine increase from £100 to £200. If mobile-obsessed drivers need any further convincing why phone usage at the wheel is lethal, watch how this lorry driver changing the music on his mobile managed to destroy a family:
Middle Lane Hogging (23%)
It’s a common sight on UK motorways – an empty inside lane being ignored by a car cruising along the middle lane. The problem? That hogging the middle lane can lead to congestion – according to the RAC, it wastes a third of motorway capacity – plus is potentially dangerous because it causes other drivers to weave in and out of traffic to get past the hogger.
You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.”
– The Highway Code.
This is a heartstopper for any driver unfortunate enough to find themselves on the receiving end of a ‘swooping’ motorist. The manoeuvre sees a driver making a dangerous bee line for the slip road off a motorway or dual carriageway at the very last moment because they’re about to miss their exit.
You should watch for the signs letting you know you are getting near your exit; move into the left-hand lane well before reaching your exit; signal left in good time and reduce your speed on the slip road as necessary.”
– The Highway Code
The following video shot by lorry driver Mike James shows a driver in a black Audi performing a ‘swooping’ manoeuvre on the M5:
Overtaking on the Inside (7%)
It might be tempting to deal with a middle lane hogger by undertaking them in the left lane – but it could also prove to be lethal. First, unless under special circumstances, it’s illegal and secondly, the other driver might not be aware of a car undertaking them because they’re not expecting it and it’s invariably in their blind spot.
[Do not under take unless] in congested conditions, where adjacent lanes of traffic are moving at similar speeds, traffic in left-hand lanes may sometimes be moving faster than traffic to the right. In these conditions you may keep up with the traffic in your lane even if this means passing traffic in the lane to your right.”
– The Highway Code
Speeding or Driving Slowly (both 3%)
Speeding’s appearance will come as no surprise to most of us but driving too slowly is perhaps less obvious but potentially just as dangerous, and could find the offender charged with ‘inconsiderate driving’. The reason? Driving too slowly can create hazardous situations such as moving out too slowly and onto a motorway or dual carriageway from a slip-road.
Do people still throw their rubbish out of their car windows? Yes – sadly such knuckle draggers still exist but some drivers, well, riders in this case are taking action against the litterbugs. Meet the Russian litter vigilante: