Oh sure, there’s plenty of annoying things about being on the road: heavy traffic, your expensive insurance policy, never ending roadworks… but it’s not just the motor trade and transport logistics to blame; drivers themselves contribute to a large amount of stress factors for other people behind the wheel. But what are the absolute worst habits of drivers?
A whole host of minor annoyances wait around the corner for any motorist, such as super slow driving, coming up on the inside to overtake, and pushing into a line at the very last second. ‘Cheeky’ doesn’t begin to cover it. These are all sure fire ways to irritate even the most patient of drivers, but some habits have rated much higher as aggravations which truly send you round the bend.
According to a recent poll by motoring service AA, in which they surveyed over 20,000 members, the cardinal sin is tailgating. Yes, that horrible habit where a car drives so close behind you that they might as well be riding in the back seat. Tailgating is not just annoying, but it’s also extremely dangerous, creating constant pressure on the driver in front who becomes anxious in case they need to brake suddenly, or in case the person behind is momentarily distracted and ploughs into the rear of their vehicle. There’s just no excuse for being so close up that your bonnet is within sniffing distance, which is why 26% of the AA members polled chose it as their most hated habit of drivers.
Coming in at a close second (so close that it’s almost tailgating number 1…) is people who use their phone while driving. Even drivers who stay within the limits of the law and use a hands-free option to talk on their mobiles are compromising their attention to safety, but when you see someone gripping their phone at the same time as the wheel, that’s when things can turn truly ugly.
Winning the bronze award for worst driver habits is – you guessed it – the middle lane hogger. The motorist that just refuses to venture into the slow lane or the fast lane, but holds up everyone in the middle lane for a 50 mile stretch, making it much harder for others to switch lanes when it suits them. Even since the power to fine these drivers was introduced in 2013, very little has changed, with just a few thousand fines being handed out in the years since.
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So, what do you think? Are these really the worst of the worst, or does something else get your goat about all the new and used cars you cross paths with every day? Perhaps it’s the uncharitable drivers who avoid eye contact as they refuse to let you into a stream of traffic you’ve been waiting beside for an eternity. Or could it be terrible parkers, straddling two spaces in the packed multi-storey carpark? How about those drivers who seem to think they have some kind of patented system to avoid traffic, simply by zigzagging between the two crawling lanes, thereby actually slowing down the whole process even more?
Let’s remember, these are all just the opinions of our fellow drivers. It’s quite likely that pedestrians and cyclists have a long list of their own! Such as the driver who somehow didn’t notice the zebra crossing, or the green light changing to red?
So next time you buckle up, remember to be a considerate driver, and try not to commit any of these terrible habits!