What’s the worst habit according to UK drivers?

Published on 14 December 2023

It pays to stay calm in any situation but what do other drivers do to ruffle your feathers? What drives you round the bend when you’re behind the wheel?

We asked 1,000 drivers to tell us what really annoys them when they’re on the road.  Counting down from the top five, here are some of the UK’s top driving frustrations.

Driving carefully is absolutely the right thing to do, but did you know you can be charged by the police for driving too slowly in the UK?

It’s under the code CD30 and carries three to nine penalty points – “driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users” – and 9% of drivers in our survey were most frustrated by this annoying habit.

People who drive in the middle lane when the inside lane is clear have been described as lane hoggers. They were the fourth most frustrating thing in our survey with 14% of the vote… and it’s more than just a bad habit. Not only is it inconsiderate and frustrating, it’s actually against the law and can land you an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three penalty points.

Things can get dangerous when queues form in the outside lane all because someone hasn’t moved left after overtaking. But remember, no matter how frustrating it gets, it’s important to stay calm and not do anything rash. Don’t be tempted to pass them on the inside lane either, undertaking is against the law and extremely dangerous.

It’s perhaps surprising to see ‘not using indicators’ so high up the list of things that frustrate other drivers but never underestimate the importance of letting other people know which way you’re turning. In fact, it’s one of the first things they teach you when you’re learning to drive.

Some indication is better than no indication at all and 15% of our survey voted this as their top frustration, with a further 13% voting for drivers who don’t indicate and then cut in front. Maybe your indicators are a good indication of who the considerate drivers are.

If you can read this, you’re too close!

There’s no surprise to see tailgating as one of the most frustrating driving habits. 23% of drivers in our survey voted for this one, so it’s right up there with the worst habits on the road. Right up!

Driving too close to the car in front is not only aggressive and inconsiderate, it’s also incredibly dangerous. And if you think it’ll make the other person go faster, we find it actually has the opposite effect. Instead, people like to drive slower when there’s a tailgater behind them, so it’s best to give the car in front plenty of room. You’ll probably find it even saves you money in the long run.

Has the rise of the smartphone seen a rise of not-so-smart drivers? Using a mobile phone when driving came top of our poll with 24% of drivers in our survey naming it the worst thing you can do when you’re in charge of a vehicle. Despite all the adverts, guidelines and laws, perhaps some people still aren’t clear on the dangers.

It’s well worth reminding anybody you know who does it that they won’t be insured if they’re found to be using their phone while driving. If caught, it’ll also push up the price of their premium. That ‘just one text message’ can definitely wait.

Our survey of 1,000 drivers in August 2022 brought to light some of the UK’s top driving frustrations:

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Using a mobile phone while driving 24%  
Tailgating 23%  
Not indicating 15%  
Hogging the middle lane 14%  
Cutting you up 13%  
Driving too slowly 9%  
Other 2%  
However you respond to the things that get on your nerves, with Allianz Car Insurance you’re in control 24/7. So, whether you stay ice cool in the driver’s seat or someone turns your mood frosty, you can rest assured we’ve got you covered.
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