Every day motorists find themselves being wound up by the annoying habits of other drivers, whether it be merging into a lane at the last second or slowing down to look at an accident. The road today is full of potential situations that can cause irritation and angst.
It’s no surprise that a 2017 study ( ) found that 80% of British drivers suffered from road rage. In order to explore this intriguing issue further, we conducted an independent national study of 1,200 UK motorists to lift the lid on the most frustrating and annoying driving habits on the road. Here’s what they said.
#1 Horrific double parking
Coming in top of our survey on annoying driving habits is the infurtiating activity of parking over two spaces. Known to many as ‘Clarkson Parking’ after former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson’s infamous parking techniques, it has become a trend in recent times with car enthusiasts taking to social media to share atrocious parking efforts. For all motorists the feeling of driving around in circles in a busy car park to find a space, only to come across a car parked across two bays, is an all too common frustration.
#2 Driving painfully below the speed limit
We’ve all been there. It’s a busy Monday morning on the road, you’re desperately trying to get to work on time and you get stuck behind a driver driving 20mph in a 30 zone. As fate would have it, the car in front is going to exactly the same place as you, which means you’re stuck behind them for your entire journey. In certain instances, driving too slowly can be dangerous and can result in anything from a verbal warning to a £5,000 fine, depending on the circumstances.
#3 Morbid motorists - slowing down to look at an accident
The phenomenon, known as rubbernecking, is the act of slowing down to get a better view of a car accident. This causes several problems, one of which is the ‘rubbernecker’ holds up everyone who is trying to get on with their day and creates traffic jams that need not exist. In fact, more accidents can be caused as motorists have to deal with unexpected braking and accelerating when passing the accident. As frustration builds while waiting for the accident to pass, everyone then accelerates at light speed to get back on the open road. Not the safest driving environment.
#4 Sudden and dangerous braking
It’s a common scenario. The traffic is flowing and you’re making steady progress to your destination when suddenly the car in front of you slams its brakes on for no apparent reason, giving you no time to react. This is most evident at roundabouts. When approaching a roundabout, there will be a car in front of you. You’ll look to your right to see that there are no other cars on the roundabout, but the car in front of you will slam its brakes on and come to a halt nearly ending up in a rear end collision.
#5 Last minute lane mergers
On a busy motorway with roadworks taking place, the traffic is often reduced to using one lane until the roadworks are cleared. Road etiquette dictates that once you have seen the merge lane sign with 500 yards to go, motorists in the affected lane should begin to move into the adjacent lane. However, to avoid the queues, some unscrupulous motorists will wait until the last second before swapping lanes, making an enemy of everyone behind them.
#6 Lane switchers trying to get ahead
It’s natural for motorists to want to get to their destination in the fastest possible time, but it’s important to do it with other drivers in mind. On every motorway in Britain, there will be one driver who simply can’t wait like the rest of us, leading them to aggressively change lanes as the traffic inches forward. It can be one of the most satisfying feelings on the road when you pass a regular lane swapper getting stuck in a slower lane after prematurely moving out of yours.
#7 Unnecessary honking of the car horn
A car horn can be a valuable asset on the road, but is it really necessary to use it for every little thing? Often thought of as the car’s first collision avoidance system, the horn has become the tool of frustrated and irate motorists up and down the country. There is no data available on exactly how many accidents that honking your horn avoids, which is meant to be its primary function. The horn has now become a tool for road rage and to switch the burden of evasion from the honker to the honkee.
#8 Politeness pain - drivers not saying thank you
When you do someone a favour on the road, letting them out at a junction or pulling between some parked cars in a busy street to let traffic flow from the other direction, you at least expect a thank you. When that thank you doesn’t arrive, it feels like your honourable action has been overlooked.
#9 Middle lane hogging
Middle lane hogging is the act of remaining in the middle lane when it appears to be totally unnecessary. The highway code states that you should always drive in the left-hand side lane when the road is clear. If you need to pass slow moving traffic by moving into the middle lane, you should return to the left-hand lane once you are safely past. Middle lane hogging causes congestion during busy periods as traffic is forced into the outside lane to pass a lane hogger. Motorists may also find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to move from the left-hand lane to the outside lane to avoid undertaking a middle lane hogger.
#10 Zebra Crossing Aggressors
Not waiting for pedestrians to cross a zebra crossing rounds off our top 10. Everyone on the road is generally in a rush, and for some this seems to include accelerating as they race pedestrians approaching the zebra crossing, to avoid being forced to stop and slow down their journey for 20 seconds. This can even be the case if pedestrians are already halfway across the zebra crossing.