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Ten driving pet peeves certain to make your blood boil

15 October 2014

But why is this? It can most probably be put down to the habits of other drivers which send Brits well and truly round the bend. These actions can suck the fun out of driving and make it a less than enjoyable experience. So, with this in mind, here’s the ten worst offences which really get our blood boiling:

10. Rubberneckers

Picture the scene. An accident ahead has slowed traffic down to a crawl. Everyone is merging into the outside lane in order to safely pass the wreckage (which now lies on the hard shoulder) and to give the people involved plenty of space.

After half an hour or more of crawling ahead you finally draw almost level with the accident, only to have to come to a complete stop once more whilst the car in front stops to gawp at the wreckage.
It’s just plain rude.

Not only will those involved in the accident feel violated by people revelling in their worst day (on top of everything else), those behind don’t need to be slowed down even more than they already have been.

9. Headlight blinders

Country roads in the night-time can be pitch black affairs, benefitting from no streetlights or that from nearby towns. As such, dipped headlights are somewhat inefficient at showing the sharp bends which potentially lie just ahead. To remedy this, of course, drivers need only pop their headlights onto full beam and the road ahead will be suitably illuminated.

Where this becomes an issue, though, is when drivers don’t then switch back to dipped headlights as another vehicle is oncoming. Full beam headlights can dazzle drivers – making it a very dangerous habit indeed.

Perhaps worse still are, instead of those who come in the opposite direction (as they are passed soon enough) drivers who come from behind with their headlights on full. This will bounce super-bright lights off a driver’s mirrors and send them – with good reason – into a right old seethe.

8. Middle-lane hoggers

Middle-lane hoggers are a pretty self explanatory bunch who have been around since the dawn of multi-lane roads. There is nothing to gain from holding them middle lane when not overtaking anyone, but instead just serves to make other drivers go into the outside lane when it’s not needed or consider undertaking instead.

Arguably the biggest reason for this being a peeve is the ease of remedy – just pull over!

7. Disabled bay abusers

No-one can begrudge car parks setting aside some area for disabled drivers who may have additional needs than most others, could they?

Well, apparently so, as some drivers think they have an entitlement to park in these bays even if they don’t have the required blue badges. It’s anyone’s guess what goes through their minds, but what should be easy enough to ascertain that which all other drivers are thinking – and it’s not “what an upstanding gentleman”.

6. Erratic speeders

There’s little more frustrating on the motorway than passing someone who’s going at 50mph, only for them to whizz by at 80mph just moments later. Actually, there is something more frustrating, when this turn of speed comes just as you start to overtake. Or perhaps on a single-lane road when there’s no room for overtaking and the person ahead can’t decide exactly where between zero and 100mph they want to be, so try both.

We all need to change our speed when driving, but swinging pendulously by a range of 30mph or more for no apparent reason can send any temper into overdrive.

5. Cutters in

Everybody’s waiting in line knowing that, soon enough, they’ll pass by whatever it is that’s holding up the traffic. One lane up ahead is closed, so everyone’s manoeuvred out to the other in plenty of time like good, considerate drivers. Nobody is rushing on ahead or getting unduly frustrated, you’re all in this together and there isn’t much to do but wait your turn.

Then, haring down the now-vacant lane comes a speedster who clearly thinks their time is more valuable than everyone else’s. After screeching to a halt at the very last minute, they’ll then proceed to push in – or get irate if people fail to let them through.

4. No “thank you”

Out of the kindness of your heart (and sometimes against your better judgement), you’ve let the above speedster come through. The least they could do is offer some form of thanks or acknowledgement, right?
Apparently sometimes not. There are a range of potential thanking gestures, from a wave out of the window, a raised left hand visible through the rear windscreen, a flick of the hazards or even a wiggle of the indicator stalk.


Even these simple gestures seem like too much of an ask in repayment of your kindness. Makes you not want to bother, doesn’t it?

3. Non-indicators

What surprises some people about driving law is that failing to use indicators isn’t actually illegal. It may be there clear as day in the Highway Code, be responsible for a driving test fail, or be indicative of driving without due care and attention, but will not land you with a fine. Rude, thoughtless and potentially dangerous it may be, but illegal? No.

That being said, there’d be plenty of drivers who’d welcome such a change to the law – not to mention a tidy sum of cyclists and pedestrians to boot. Without indicating, a driver is not signalling their intent, which could – very easily – be to manoeuvre their one-tonne vehicle right into your path.

2. Tailgaters
Stopping distance at 70mph: 96 metres, or 315 feet.

This figure is made up of 21 metres thinking distance and 75 metres for actual braking. Put it another way, 96 metres is 24 car lengths – or the entire length of Big Ben’s clock tower. It’s also nearly three times the length of the largest blue whale ever discovered and more than one and three quarter times the height of Niagara Falls.

Why, then, do some people assume it’s actually just 20cm or so?

Tailgating is one of the most aggressive driving habits and regularly tops lists of people’s biggest driving peeves. As with many of those above, it’s dangerous and rude – but more than that, it’s downright intimidating. If there’s any justice in the world, it’s only a matter of time before these tailgaters do so behind an unmarked police car and get the £90 penalty and three licence points coming to them.

1. Mobile users

Whilst using a mobile behind the wheel may not be the biggest issue for many, it makes the top of this list because of the effect it has on drivers. In taking their mind off the road ahead, many drivers end up doing one or more of the above simply because they are on their phones. In short, its one simple way to turn an otherwise good driver into a monster of the road.

Just as with many others noted already, there’s also no need for drivers to be on their phones. Hands free technology has been around for years and is now installed in many new cars as standard. Even if this isn’t a possibility, there’s always a safe place not too far in the distance to pull over and take a call or phone a person back.

So there they are. The ten biggest pet peeves that are evidenced every single day on British roads.
Do you agree with our list? Why not share your motoring bugbears with us via Twitter orFacebook?

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