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As a driver, you’ll encounter irritating road users almost every day. Adopting bad driving habits can not only be dangerous but they can also waste fuel and affect the performance of your vehicle. Our list of the worst driving habits you can have includes speeding, not using your indicators and hogging the middle lane, but which one is your most annoying? and, are you brave enough to admit to being guilty of some of the UK’s worst driving habits? 

1. Tailgating other drivers. 

When you’re out on the road, it’s recommended you leave at least a 2-second gap between you and the car in front. To test this theory, take note of something on the road such as a traffic sign and once the car in front of you has passed, count how long it takes you to then pass the road sign. The longer the gap you leave, the bigger your safety margin is. Tailgating is when drivers ignore this rule and drive too closely to the car in front. Not leaving yourself enough room increases the risk of collision if the car in front of you were to brake suddenly. 

Rule 126 of the Highway Code states:  ‘Tailgating is dangerous, intimidating and can cause collisions, especially when driving at speed. Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front gives you time to react and stop if necessary. Dangerous and careless driving offences, such as tailgating, are enforced by the police.’

REMEMBER: “Only a fool breaks the two-second rule!”

2. Not using indicators. 

Not using your indicators to signal to other drivers what you’re going to do is one of the most annoying driving habits and it can be really dangerous. Your car indicators are important and are a way of telling road users and pedestrians where you intend to go and should be performed any time you pull away, change lanes, overtake, or turn. Failing to indicate is considered as driving without due care and attention and if it results in a road accident, you could be fined up to £5,000 and receive up to 9 points on your licence. Even if there is no one else around, you should still keep up the habit of always indicating as it can stop you from forgetting in the future.



3. Speeding.

Speeding, or driving above the legal speed limit is one of the worst driving habits we could adopt, and not to mention that it’s totally ILLEGAL! If you’ve been caught speeding by a speed camera you can receive a fine of up to £100 and 3 points on your license. Exceeding the legal speed limit can increase the risk of accidents, decrease braking distances and also use more fuel than you need to

Common speed camera myths - true or false?

4. Using a mobile phone.

Even though using a mobile phone whilst driving has been illegal for several years now, it seems it is still too tempting for drivers to use their mobiles in the car. One of the worst driving habits you can adopt is using your mobile phone when driving as it can be a massive distraction. You cannot touch your phone at any point when driving and you should set everything up before you turn the engine on if you wish to use hands-free. You can only use your phone legally whilst driving if you are safely parked up and the engine is off. 

5. Bad parking.

One driving habit which is sure to wind up other road users is bad parking. A survey by Fleet News shows that 30% of females stated their worst driving habit was bad parking. Bad parking could be taking up more than one space, not straightening up in a bay, parking on double yellows or not being able to perform parking manoeuvres properly. If your car is found to be parked in a dangerous position, you could be fined by the police and even get points on your license. 

6. Middle Lane hogging. 

Middle lane hogging is when a driver stays in the middle lane longer than they need to. The Highway code states “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.” Hogging the middle lane causes congestion and is a bad driving habit to get into. 

You should only use the middle lane if: 

  • You are overtaking slow-moving vehicles in the left-hand lane. 
  • To make room for cars joining the main carriageway from a slip road if it is safe to do so. 
  • You cannot join the left-hand lane due to traffic. 

7. Littering out of the car. 

Did you know drivers can receive a £150 on-the-spot fine for littering out of a car? It is a criminal offence to litter in the UK and this includes out of a moving vehicle. Even if a passenger in the vehicle litters, the driver will be hit with a fine so it’s worth making sure everyone in the vehicle is aware of this rule. Throwing a cigarette bud out of the car window is also classed as littering and can be a finable offence. 

8. Driving too slow. 

One bad driving habit which is sure to annoy many drivers is others who drive too slowly. You should take extra care when weather conditions such as rain or snow affect the roads but in good driving conditions, driving too slowly for the road you are on can be an offence. You could be fined up to £200 as it is classed as careless driving. Sticking to the speed limit is important and some roads could even set a minimum speed limit which drivers need to adhere to. 

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