The five worst driving habits in the UK

Driving
The Car Expert's 5 Worst Driving Habits in the UK

Bad Driving Habit #4: Pushing in

The Car Expert's Bad Driving Habit #5: Pushing InDriving in London can be frustrating, as millions of cars try to all make their way around and across the city. But some drivers seem to think that they have the right to simply pull out into traffic and make everyone else brake for them. This applies to junctions, exits and motorway lane changing.

I like to think that I’m generally a courteous driver. If I see someone waiting to pull out at a T-junction or indicating that they want to move into my lane, I will slow and allow them in (obviously checking my mirrors first, to make sure I’m not about to cause an accident). But if someone is trying to push their way out into the road or into my lane and simply expecting me to slow for them, then they get no such courtesy. Same goes for people pushing into queues at the last minute, which brings me to…

Bad Driving Habit #3:  The last-minute lane change

The Car Expert's Bad Driving Habit #3: Last-minute lane changeLast-minute lane changers usually fall into two groups: the “Arrgh, this is my turn-off RIGHT HERE!”; and the arrogant idiots who simply try and push into a queue at the last possible minute to gain themselves a 13-second advantage by not waiting in line. The first group are usually new to the area, and it doesn’t bother me. A portable satnav stuck to the windscreen is usually a giveaway, and given how slow some nav units are at giving directions, it’s not surprising that drivers don’t get enough warning of their turn-offs. The second group (again, often minicab drivers) are simply very rude people who think they’re being clever when actually they’re showing a complete lack of respect for their fellow road users.

Last-minute lane changers are especially dangerous for cyclists, as the driver may have a quick check of the mirror in the millisecond before they swing across traffic, but the chances of them seeing a bike or scooter are non-existent.

Next page: A lack of respect for other road users

Stuart Masson

Stuart is the Editor of The Car Expert, which he founded in 2011, and our new sister site The Van Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the car industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

16 Comments

  1. Sad to say I found myself nodding along to every one of these points! We can all have a laugh and vent our rage at them on here but in truth some of them are incredibly dangerous, and its no surprise that insurance claims are going up and up cause of things like this!

    Reply
  2. People who pull out into traffic when there isn’t a gap for them really annoy me. I do whatever I can to avoid letting them in, and use my headlights and horn liberally if they do pull in front of me.

    Reply
  3. I’m surprised that you didn’t include tailgating. It’s far more dangerous than most of the things you have listed here, and really should be at number 1.

    Reply
    • Stuart Masson

      You’re absolutely right in that tailgating is very dangerous. However, it is also illegal at all times, which most of these habits are not. The purpose wasn’t to judge which illegal driving activities are the worst (since you easily could have a list of: texting/shaving/applying makeup, drink-driving, tailgating, failing to indicate and excessive speeding). The activities on this list are usually not illegal as such, although they can be at certain times (eg – failing to keep left when on a motorway or there is a specific sign), but they show a lack of courtesy or general driving ability. stuart.

  4. Failing to indicate is my biggest complaint. And it’s not just BMWs but lots of drivers, especially van drivers.

    Reply
  5. The minicab issue is getting out of hand in London, and Addison Lee drivers are the worst. Can’t believe that people still use that company, their a mob of crooks.

    Reply
  6. Great work, now can you send a copy to every police station around the country so they can start policing this stuff. The Keep Left thing is particularly true, it really gets my goat

    Reply
  7. EuropCam
    The proliferation of traffic in the United Kingdom over the past few years has significantly increased the risk of car accidents. When accidents occur, determining the person at fault is often hard to prove, as dishonest people easily take advantage of this kind of situation. A video recorder will give you unquestionable proof in order to attest your innocence in accident cases involving material damage and/or manslaughter accusations.

    Reply
  8. This is a very well written article. As a busy driving instructor I see this sort of thing every day. One thing that annoys me is drivers refusing to signal to leave a roundabout. Inexperienced drivers need all the help they can get when judging a safe gap to enter a roundabout and go bonkers when people don’t signal to leave. They can’t trust whether to proceed or nor unless other drivers make their intentions clear. We all get enraged at tiny things. My favourite is people who do not put their handbrake on at red lights and continue to creep forward then stop, creep then stop, creep again until they are over the line and blocking the pedestrian crossing. JUST SIT AND WAIT FOR GREEN LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!. There… that feels better.

    Reply
  9. Couldn’t agree more! Great little list of annoying habits. My own gripe is failing to indicate – anywhere. On roundabouts it’s especially dangerous. If my students can’t trust where people are going they tend to freeze like rabbits. Dangerous.

    Reply
  10. Bryan Greenall

    Great post of which I have shared through my social media links.
    All of these are very annoying especially when you are a driving instructor like me.
    An extra one which you could add would be the new trend of lack of indication of your intention to change direction, this seems to be a disease which is growing out of proportion in these modern driving times. In my daily work teaching we see this constantly and surely cannot be such a difficult think to do to just click on that stalk next to the steering wheel to let others know where you intend to travel.
    It seems people nowadays all drive around with very sore and painful fingers and it is too painful to touch that stalk lol.

    Great post on poor driving habits.

    Reply
  11. I couldn't agree more with these! One thing that we teach at Direct Driving Online is how to avoid these bad habits.

    Reply
  12. Not indicating on roundabouts causes more tailbacks. I teach pupils to drive and they’re often stuck trying to get onto a roundabout because of people not indicating

    Reply
  13. I too agree with all the points listed above. Cars not using the left lane is a serious issue. Either the drivers do not care about any other road user or they have no idea about basic rules of the road. I am often tempted to ‘undertake’ in these situations but understand the legal implications of this. I come across this a lot when a bus lane is outwith it’s ‘operating times’ yet other drivers fail to use this lane, often compounded by the fact that they will often sit at 30mph when the road has a 40 mph speed limit. There should be stiff punishment for driving offences like this. It encourages road rage and dangerous driving. With talk of drivers being punished for exceeding the speed limit by 1 mph, I think it’s high time that police for forces got serious about other driving behaviours.

    Reply
  14. Is this just laziness? Ignorance? Lack of education? I’ve seen driving instructors (people driving learner cars without learners) committing some of the things on the list; my gf’s siblings’ driving instructor even taught them they didn’t need to indicate when moving out to pass around parked cars! Who teaches the driving instructors to teach? I drive a lot with work and don’t go a day where I don’t see simple failures. Roundabouts are my pet peeves – people going in the right hand lane of 2 lanes to go straight across (and not indicating)! Government intervention required? Ban stupid / lazy people from driving? Argh! Rant over!!

    Reply
  15. I’m amazed that ‘UNDER-taking’ is mentioned only once – and even then it’s mentioned as an option to DO rather than NOT do.
    On many occasions, I’ve felt a tad guilty for doing 75-80 (ie – SPEEDING) in the middle lane as I approach a vehicle in the near-side lane, to over-take it. Then, despite the outside lane(s) being CLEAR, I’m UNDER-taken by a car that then pulls out between me and the vehicle I’m approaching to over-take.

    Surely, under-taking is EXTREMELY bad practice – not sure of the legality – & bikers often use under-taking as part of their ‘darning-needle’ lane-swapping driving technique, BUT other drivers are to “THINK BIKE”.
    I say “BIKE – THINK!”.
    There’s so much arrogant, inconsiderate & generally bad driving now……..

    Reply

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.

Lost Password

Share
Tweet
Share
+1
Stumble