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17 Aug 2018
Adam Bate Confused.com

Top 10 bad driving habits

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Bad driving habits are common and bug us all. But what are the top 10 worst habits on the road?

 Driver using the car horn

What really grinds drivers’ gears are often other drivers who display less than courteous behaviour on the road.

Traffic jams can be annoying but having a bad driver in front or behind you can really ruin one’s day.

Top 10 bad driving habits

Without further a-do, here are the top 10 worst driving habits:

1. Tailgating

2. Failing to indicate

3. Hogging the middle lane

4. Dangerous overtaking

5. Hogging the outside lane

6. Jumping traffic lights

7. Undertaking

8. Being slow away from traffic lights

9. Hesitant braking

10. Last-minute braking 

bad driving article

What counts as careless driving?

Our top 10 list contains examples of ‘careless driving’. The Highway Code defines this as:

  • Driving dangerously 

  • Without due care and attention 

  • Without reasonable consideration for other road users

Motoring lawyer Jeanette Miller says: "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.

Read more: Motorway driving: How to stay safe

Car indicating

Top of the charts: Tailgating 

Tailgating is quite rightly the most annoying driving habit. 

In fact, according to research by Confused.com, more than an eighth of drivers have had an accident or near miss because of tailgating.

Drivers are sometimes completely unaware that they’re tailgating. Others, however, actively try to pressure drivers until they can speed past. 

Dealing with tailgaters is a difficult task too; the main advice is to let them pass when it’s safe to do so, especially with a tailgater that’s pressuring you. 

With the drivers that aren’t aware that they’re tailgating, avoid braking sharply and gradually slow down.

Although this won’t completely eliminate the chances of being rear-ended, the damage will certainly be reduced.

Read more: How to deal with tailgaters without losing your rag

Our runner up: Failing to indicate 

When it comes to failing to indicate, it’s easy to forget that it's not only motorists who suffer.

How many times have pedestrians stood, waiting at the kerb for a car that wasn’t indicating, not knowing whether it was safe to cross the road or not?

Bad driving habits affect everyone.

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

Read more: How to avoid driving stress

cars in traffic jam

The law on indicating – or failing to

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

"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 Highway Code can be seen as committing the offence of careless driving.

First published on the 24th of October 2014

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