There’s no denying it, most of us think we are pretty good drivers. However, whether you have recently passed your test, or been on the road for years, there are some driving habits we are all guilty of.
When out and about, it’s much easier to spot bad driving habits in others, however, whereas some are just classed as careless habits, others can be more much dangerous.
Here’s our Top 10 Bad Driving Habits:
Tailgating is perhaps one the most annoying driving habits. Sometimes, drivers are completely unaware that they’re tailgating whereas others actively try to pressure drivers until they can speed past. Dealing with tailgaters is a difficult task too as it can lead to frustration and anger. However, the best advice is to let them pass when it is safe to do so and avoid a confrontation.
2. NOT INDICATING
This is definitely one which spikes road rage. One of the major causes of car crashes in motoring history, are accidents that tend to happen due to people misusing or not using their indicators at all. Indicators are meant to give other drivers awareness of your intentions, whether it’s changing lanes, turning left or right. One major advantage of indicating is that it gives others a chance to slow down to enable you perform a manoeuvre.
But 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?
3. DRIVING BELOW SPEED LIMIT
Driving slowly can be as dangerous as driving too fast. Stick to the speed limit, only slowing down if there are roadworks or heavy traffic around. For learner drivers who have just passed their test, use “P” plates which will let others know you need a little more time, space and patience.
4. MIDDLE-LANE HOGGING
This is another hugely frustrating bad habit. Widespread failure to keep left effectively turns many three-lane motorways into two-lane roads, slowing vast volumes of traffic and increasing accident risk for large numbers of cars. Driving in the middle or right-hand land (either deliberately or through inattention) backs up traffic and contributes to tailgating.
The UK Highway Code states that drivers 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.”
5. JUMPING TRAFFIC LIGHTS
Lets state the obvious – jumping red traffic lights is illegal. The maximum penalty for running a red light is a £1,000 fine, three penalty points and could even result in disqualification. No matter how late or frustrating the delay, traffic lights are there for a reason…safety. Jumping the lights causes needless accidents. This law also applies for cyclists.
6. LAST MINUTE BREAKING
Last minute breaking increases the risk of skidding, as well as being hit by the car behind, ultimately causing a collision. It also places extra stress on tyres and brakes, which eventually results in higher maintenance costs.
7. FUEL RED LIGHT
We all know that driving can be expensive, with outgoings including insurance, maintenance, the car and above all, the fuel. However it can also be extremely damaging to your car to drive on empty. The sediment (dirt) from your fuel settles at the bottom of the tank so when you drive on an almost empty tank, you force this dirt to run through your car. This can cause problems with your engine. Therefore, it may seem like you are making the most of your money but in reality, it could end up costing you more.
8. MOBILE PHONES
Using your mobile whilst driving is now against the law and is one of the worst things you can do. Concentrating on taking a call or making a call is not only dangerous but means you aren’t looking at the road. If you’re caught on your mobile or sending text messages, you will get six points on your licence along with a £200 fine. You’ll also lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last 2 years.
9. TAKING UP TWO PARKING SPACES
Nothing annoys us more than a vehicle taking up two parking spaces. Just when you think you can see a gap, there’s a vehicle parked over the lines meaning you’d struggle to get your car in. A little bit of patience and reversing can make sure you get in the lines properly, leaving the next parking space available for someone else.
10. DANGEROUS OVERTAKING
Dangerous overtaking is a major cause of serious accidents. When planning to overtake, there are many elements that must be considered, including the conditions on the road, hidden dips, deceptive corners, as well as the unpredictable actions of other drivers. Oncoming drivers may have the same intention of dangerous overtaking. Therefore if it is not safe to do so, don’t do it!
So, whilst some of these are just annoying, others can cause serious problems and accidents for other motorists and pedestrians. It really is important to make sure we are being safe on the road, but this is made harder by making sure we are constantly watching what other drivers are doing too.
Have we missed out a bad habit? Let us know.