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Tailgating tops bad driving habits survey

UK motorists find tailgating and failing to indicate the most annoying driving habits, according to insurance comparison website Confused.com.

Tailgating came out as the number one pet peeve, with 29 per cent of more than 4,000 respondents giving it their vote. Failing to indicate closely followed with 28 per cent of the vote. Third place went to hogging the middle lane, at 16 per cent.

Confused.com head of car insurance said: “Some drivers just seem to assume that others on the road are psychic and never indicate. At motorway speeds this isn’t just irritating: it’s insanely dangerous. This is especially the case in situations where you have an inside-lane driver and an outside-lane driver moving into the middle lane, neither indicating.” 

One respondent pointed out why indicating is more than optional: “As a motorcyclist, as well as a driver, there have been many near misses on roundabouts where other road users have been in the wrong position for the exits they intend to take and do it without the use of indicators. Not all of us are psychic.” 

Technically you can get away with failing to indicate and tailgating in the eyes of the law, but it could be classed as careless driving, which carries a maximum fine of up to £5,000.

The rest of the ten bad driving habits were dangerous overtaking (11 per cent), hogging the outside lane (4 per cent), jumping traffic lights (3 per cent), being slow away from traffic lights (3 per cent), hesitant braking (2 per cent) and last-minute braking (1 per cent). 

There is a proper way to handle roundabouts, contrary to what the behaviour of other road users might suggest. Generally speaking, you indicate for the first and third exit, indicate for the second once you have gone past the first exit and, of course, give priority to traffic coming from your right.

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