What are the country’s most annoying driving habits?

Angry lego headA leading motoring organisation recently polled their members and found that over a third were unaware that the crime of ‘careless driving’ included: tailgating, lane hogging and driving too slowly. The fact that just 8,000 motorists have been issued fixed penalty notices since the legislation was introduced in 2013 suggests that either we are a nation of very well-behaved drivers or the laws aren’t being strictly enforced. Quoteline Direct decided to take the motoring public’s temperature and see what dodgy driving habits make our blood boil.

Bumper to Bumper Tailgating isn’t just a pet peeve; it’s downright dangerous. Ironically, it’s the offender who’s likely to come-off worse if there’s a crash, which makes it even more senseless. Tailgating has the dubious honour of regularly topping the table of the country’s most irritating driving habits.

Mobile Phone Use Smartphone addicts are the scourge of modern day motorists and sadly fatalities caused by driver distraction are never far from the headlines. The government has recently decided to take the problem more seriously and anyone caught will get six penalty points and a fixed £200 fine. The Highway Code states that mobile phones can only be used when parked (engine off and handbrake on) and that doesn’t mean you can selfishly block traffic to take a call.

Middle Lane Drivers Hogging the middle lane is the country’s third biggest bugbear and raises many motoring conundrums. Don’t guilty drivers notice the continual stream of traffic overtaking them? Or what about those illegally undertaking to drive the point home? And last, but not least, what’s so great about the middle lane anyway? Middle lane hogging has been proved to disrupt traffic flow and cause congestion, as well as making other motorists see red.

Dawdling at the Lights As day follows night you can be sure that red traffic lights will soon turn green. The change really shouldn’t come as a surprise and the brief pause isn’t an invite to check your phone or reprogram your satnav.

Litter Louts Throwing rubbish out of car windows makes the mind boggle. Even if you ignore the antisocial side of things, plus the fact everyone has to pay the clean-up costs (including the litter bug), isn’t it just easier to take it home and use a bin? In a bid to stamp out littering from cars councils can now fine drivers £75 for anyone littering from their vehicle, which neatly sidesteps previous problems with establishing responsibility.

Queue Jumping Queueing is a very British trait and source of national pride, but the rules don’t always apply on the roads. Few things can be more infuriating than patiently queueing at a motorway exit to have a driver whizz past and force their way in at the front. Gracious minded onlookers may assume the offender simply ‘made a mistake’ and misjudged the exit; while most mortal’s blood begins to boil.

Inappropriate Indicating Long gone are the days when motorists had to wind-down the window and use hand signals, so why is it that one third of drivers don’t indicate? Is it down to forgetfulness, laziness or maybe they just don’t give a monkeys? The only thing worse than drivers who don’t signal are those that indicate too early, especially on roundabouts.

Speed Awareness Driving too quickly is a criminal offence and there are plenty of motorists who would like to see driving too slowly added to the statute books. Daydreaming drivers pootling about as if every day were Sunday send other motorist’s blood pressure through the roof and a third have reported an incident or ‘near miss’ due to a slow driver.

Driving without Insurance The Motor Insurance Bureau estimates there are more than a million uninsured vehicles on the road. Collisions with uninsured cars cost the industry an eye-watering £400million a year and you can guess who ultimately picks-up the bill. On the plus side, the number of uninsured drivers has halved in the past decade and offenders can now expect a minimum £300 fine and six penalty points.

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