have come up with the worst driving habits we display on Britain’s roads, and they should know. After all, they have an interest in what we get up to behind the wheel. If things do go too far it is them and other insurance companies who will be picking up the pieces.

We all know that it can be a jungle out there.  Some of us still remember the days when if you saw someone coming along the road with the same model of car as you had you would politely greet each other with a flash of the headlights or a wave.  These days’ lights are more likely to be flashed in anger and hand signals – well best we don’t go there!

Jumping right into the top ten worst driving habits

There are things along the road that no one can avoid, like traffic jams and those ubiquitous temporary traffic lights and diversions.  However, those pale into insignificance on the irritation charts when you compare them to being followed by or stuck behind a bad driver. Some of the worst driving habits are offences, and others are just irritating annoyances.

These are our top ten irritations when we’re out on the road.  We’re sure none of our OWO readers would never be guilty of any of these!

  1. Tailgating
  2. Not indicating in time, or at all
  3. Monopolising the middle lane of a motorway
  4. Overtaking dangerously
  5. Hogging the fast lane of a motorway
  6. Jumping the lights
  7. Undertaking on motorways or dual carriageways
  8. Being slow to pull away at traffic lights
  9. Braking hesitantly
  10. Braking at the last-minute

So what is considered careless driving?

The Highway Code, the driver’s bible, defines careless driving as:

  • Driving without due care and attention 
  • Without reasonable consideration for other road users

This kind of traffic offence comes with penalties too, with awards of between three to nine points and a maximum fine of five thousand pounds.  The police have the power to issue fines on the spot for some infringements like middle lane hogging or tailgating. 

Dangerous and discourteous driving is a threat to us all when we are on the road and the number one bugbear tailgating can be fatal especially at high speeds on the motorway.’s research found that about 12.5% of the drivers surveyed said that they had been involved in an accident or a near miss because of the dangerous practice of tailgating. If you’ve had a bad experience, you may wish to report someone for dangerous driving when you get to your destination.

Why do drivers tailgate?

It can be that some drivers do it without even realising they are, they have simply got into the bad habit of driving too close.  However, there are other drivers who use tailgating to pressure the driver in front to go faster or to move over and let them pass.

Never to get into some kind of competition with a tailgater, by braking hard to make them back off.  This could end badly for both of you.  Just let them go.  Be the bigger driver!   And check that you are not, however unwittingly, guilty of this motoring sin!

Failing to indicate 

The second deadly driving sin, failing to indicate or indicating late is another habit that has the potential to end in disaster both for the driver who practices it and those who get involved as a result.

We’ve all seen or done the pavement shuffle where a pedestrian is waiting to cross but is unsure whether a car that is approaching is going to turn or not.  Making the wrong assumption can be fatal.  In fact, there is no specific motoring offence that covers failing to indicate but it will come under the broader heading of breach of the Highway Code.  The question is what do we do when we are confronted with anyone driving like this.  The best thing to do is steer clear and never, ever, get into a debate or competition with a bad driver.

While we are certain that no OWO reader would ever breach the highway code and that you are all wonderfully disciplined, it is interesting to note that those around us do sometimes appear never to have passed a driving test let alone read the Highway Code!  We will rise above it!   

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