Summer is in full swing, and with the bank holiday only just behind us, it’s likely that many of us will be taking a trip. Chances are that at least some of it will involve driving – and as we all know, that can bring frustration.
Every day motorists find themselves being wound up by the annoying habits of other drivers. Perhaps it’s no surprise that a recent study found that in 2017, 80% of British drivers suffered from road rage.
Select Car Leasing conducted an independent national survey of 1,200 UK motorists, to find the most frustrating and annoying driving habits on the road. Here’s their top five.
Top 5 Habits
5. Last minute lane mergers
It’s the scourge of many a driver’s existence. You’re on a road which has roadworks on it; as a result, only one lane is available. The common view is that once you’ve seen the merge lane sign (usually after 500 yards), you should gradually start moving into the adjacent lane. Those who try and do so earlier are openly disparaged as “queue-jumpers.”
Though they may make an enemy of their fellow drivers, a 2008 study by Minnesota state work zone engineer Ken Johnson found that late lane merging (known as “zip-merging” in the States) had three main benefits:
• Less difference in speeds of the two lanes: without the urgency to move over, the traffic is travelling at roughly the same speed in both lanes, making the merge easier and safer.
• Reduction in queue length: queue length can be cut by up to 50% by zip-merging, making junctions and slip roads easier to handle.
• Less road rage – as nobody has a perceived advantage.
Even the British government seems to support zip-merging – to an extent. Rule 134 of the Highway Code says that: “Merging in turn is recommended but only if safe and appropriate when vehicles are travelling at a very low speed, e.g. when approaching road works or a road traffic incident. It is not recommended at high speed.”
4. Sudden braking
Having a car slam on its brakes in front of you is always a frightening experience. You’ve got very little time to react, especially when it happens at a roundabout. You’ll see that there are no cars to your right and prepare to go – but before you’ve even clocked it, the innocent car in front of you will come to a halt and you’ll do well to avoid a rear-end collision. And the offending car doesn’t get off scot-free either; continuous unnecessary braking can reduce tyre traction and burst brake tubes, amongst other things.
3. Slowing down to look at an accident
This is also known as rubbernecking, but despite the silly-sounding name, it can cause several problems. The most pressing is that the ‘rubbernecker’ holds up everyone else on the road – creating tailbacks that need not exist. Ironically, rubbernecking can cause more accidents, due to unexpected braking and acceleration from other motorists. Add this to the building frustration of being sat behind a rubbernecker and then only being able to speed up a little to get back on the open road, and you’ve got a very unsafe – and annoying – driving environment…
2. Driving way below the speed limit
We’ve all been there. It’s a busy Monday morning and you’re desperately trying to get to work on time when you get stuck behind a driver doing 20mph in a 30mph zone. As that car is travelling to exactly the same place as you, unfortunately you’re stuck behind them for your entire journey. What’s more, driving too slowly isn’t just an annoyance; if the police have evidence of your slow speed creating a road hazard, you can get up to six points on your licence for the offense of “inconsiderate driving”. Furthermore, driving below 50mph on a motorway could land you with a fine of up to £1000.
1. Parking over two spaces
Or, to give it its other name, ‘Clarkson Parking”. Named after former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson’s own infamous techniques, it’s become a social media trend, with pages set up just to document instances. Supporters of the technique claim that it prevents vehicles from being scratched. For regular motorists, though, the coming across it after driving around in circles in a busy car park to find a space is an all too common frustration.
Do any of these get on your nerves? Or are you guilty of any of these annoying habits? Let us know!