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Top 10 bad driving habits

We asked you which bad driving habits bug - and you responded in your thousands, with tailgating and failing to indicate topping the list.

A particularly angry driver with road rage

Three times in the past week I've been held up by a car when attempting to cross the road at a junction.

Held up in that I've had to pause at the kerb trying to figure out whether the car's going to continue straight ahead or turn left or right.

Of course, if the driver had bothered to indicate I would know what way he - or she - was going and whether I could cross safely or not. 

But maybe the driver had wrist-ache and just... couldn't... quite... move his - or her - hand that extra couple of inches to flick the indicator stalk up or down.

Failing to indicate irritates

You see, it's easy to forget that it's not only motorists who suffer when the car in front fails to indicate.

It affects us pedestrians too. 

So it's little surprise that lack of signals is the nation's second most-hated motoring habit, just behind tailgating.

Now, we've covered tailgating before so we'll leave that for now – but if you want to read more on tailgating click here.

But failing to indicate is another bugbear, and one that also drives (pun intended)'s head of car insurance Gemma Stanbury mad.

Assumption other road users are psychic

Stanbury says: "Some drivers just seem to assume that others on the road are psychic and NEVER indicate. 

"At motorway speeds this isn't just irritating: it's insanely dangerous.

"This is especially the case in situations where you have an inside-lane driver and an outside-lane driver moving into the middle lane, neither indicating. 

"Then there's parking. Many times I've pulled up on a road next to a car with a space behind so I can reverse into it, indicating my intentions with plenty of time, I might add.

"Yet the car behind me has stopped so close to me they’re blocking the parking space. That's happened to me three times in a row recently on a local road." 

Top 10 bad driving habits

We asked customers which bad driving habits bug you - and you responded in your thousands. 

Of the more than 4,000 respondents from across the UK, tailgating, failing to indicate and hogging the middle-lane were voted the most-hated motoring habits.

  • 1. Tailgating 29% 

  • 2. Failing to indicate 28%

  • 3. Hogging the middle lane 16%

  • 4. Dangerous overtaking 11%

  • 5. Hogging the outside lane 4%

  • 6. Jumping traffic lights 3%

  • 7. Undertaking 3%

  • 8. Being slow away from traffic lights 3%

  • 9. Hesitant braking 2%

  • 10. Last-minute braking 1% 

Failing to indicate: Your views

And here's what some of you had to say on the subject:

  • "The most annoying and dangerous laziness in our area is the lack of signalling left by motorists at a T junction. This causes great concern when waiting to cross the road - especially by the old folk and young children. If the motorist had to wind down their windows to signal instead of moving a lever I might just understand this!"
  • "Drivers that do not indicate, because it's okay, they know where they are going!! Particularly on roundabouts and mini-roundabouts."
  • "Incorrect or non-existent indicating on roundabouts: the whole point of a roundabout is to keep traffic moving safely, which can't happen if you don't know where the other driver's going." 
  • "As a motorcyclist, as well as a driver, there have been many near misses on roundabouts where other road users have been in the wrong position for the exits they intend to take and do it without the use of indicators. Not all of us are psychic!!"

In fact, as well as failing to indicate, you'll notice that three of the four comments refer to doing so on roundabouts. 

So here's a very helpful image from the Highway Code showing how to use a roundabout correctly.

Roundabouts Highway Code 

The law on indicating – or failing to

Jeanette Miller is managing director of motoring law firm Geoffrey Miller Solicitors.

She says: "I think the reason this motoring misdemeanour tops the chart of bad driving habits is the element of inconsideration and laziness of the driver who fails to indicate. 

"Indicating is covered by Rules 103-106 of the Highway Code.

"While there's no specific motoring offence of "failing to indicate" any breach of the Code can be seen as committing the offence of careless driving.

Careless driving

"Careless driving is defined as using a vehicle 'on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place'."

Miller adds: "The penalty for careless driving is between three and nine points on your licence and a maximum fine of £5,000."

Police can also issue on-the-spot fines of £100 and three penalty points for offences like tailgating and middle-lane hogging.

As the Highway Code states: Mirrors – signal – manoeuvre. If all drivers heeded this, our roads would be much safer for everyone.

What do you think?

What are your most-hated motoring habits and what can be done to make the nation's drivers that bit better?

We want to hear from you! You can share your views on our message board below.

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Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick covers all things consumer for She started out on a weekly newspaper, via a national news agency and a stint in the fun but ‘not as glamorous as it appears on screen’ world of TV at the BBC researching consumer films for The One Show.

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