When we first start driving, none of us think that we will eventually develop bad driving habits. The UK Driving Test is a test that everyone must take to gain their licence to drive on their own on the UK roads. However, the driving test is of a minimum standard. There are more advanced levels of test done by other organisations. When we do our training with businesses, we train fleet drivers to this high standard.
But not many drivers go on to develop and further enhance their driving afterwards. Many can go 30 – 50 years without having their driving assessed again. This will always mean that bad driving habits are common and develop over time.
What are the Top 10 Worst Habits on the Road?
What do you see happening on the roads that grinds your gears? It is normally what you see others doing that you consider bad habits. How many people look at themselves and see bad habits? Unless myself and other trainers get in your vehicle to watch and assess them, we hear everyone saying, “I don’t have any bad habits.”
Drivers feel that traffic jams are the most annoying part of driving, but having a driver behind or in front grinds the gears of drivers more.
Top 10 Bad Driving Habits
- Failing to indicate
- Hogging the middle lane
- Dangerous overtaking
- Hogging the outside lane
- Jumping traffic lights
- Being slow away from traffic lights
- Hesitant braking
- Last-minute braking
This list is the top 10 examples of careless driving. Things that we see as bad habits.
What Counts as Careless Driving?
The Highway Code defines this as:
- Driving dangerously
- Without due care and attention
- Without reasonable consideration for other road users
The penalty for careless driving is between 3 and 9 points on your licence and a maximum fine of £5,000. The police can also issue on-the-spot fines of £100 and 3 penalty points for some of the offences named above such as middle lane hogging.
Do you know what MSM means?
MIRROR, SIGNAL, MANOEUVRE
It is not a hard sequence to continue to do. I bet you remember on all of your lessons your instructor’s going on and on about mirrors. Did you check that mirror? What did you see in that mirror? Where are the dangers whilst at the traffic lights, and you have been stopped there for a short while? Sound familiar?
If every driver continued to do this after they throw away their L plates, our roads would be so much safer. That check in the left mirror to be sure there are no cyclists there before you make a left turn. That check in the mirror before you move out to overtake and see the motorbike coming up on the right-hand side.
Tailgating is quite rightly the most annoying driving habit. Research by confused.com shows that more than an eighth of drivers have had an accident or near miss because of tailgating. When we look at tailgating, some drivers aware they are doing it, some are not. Some do it to try and pressure drivers until they can speed past.
How do you deal with tailgaters? When you think about it, if you slow down and let them pass when safe to do so, they are then out of your way. You can safely carry on with your journey, without them in your way when behind you. It is all about how they make you feel, so as soon as you can eliminate that feeling of being pressured.
For those who do not realise they are, they have others driving close so have gotten into the habit of being close. If you slow to let them pass, they won’t and will just follow you. As I say they are not aware they are, they are just following you.
Avoid braking sharply, increase the gap between you and the vehicle you are following. This means that those behind you have more time to slow, as well. Although this won’t completely eliminate the chances of being rear-ended, the damage will certainly be reduced.
Failing to Indicate
When it comes to failing to indicate, who is it that suffers?
Bad driving habits affect everyone. It’s little surprise that lack of signals is the nation’s second most-hated motoring habit, just behind tailgating.
Is failing to indicate against the law? There is no specific motoring offence of failing to indicate. Indicating is covered in the Highway Code Rules 103-106. Any breach of The Highway Code can be seen as committing the offence of careless driving.
I think failing to indicate is just a bad habit and a sign of laziness. We see others not indicating so it is then that drivers copy this inconsideration and laziness.
What You Should Do Going Forward To Avoid Bad Driving Habits
Do not just copy others, focus, concentrate on your driving, take a mental note of your own driving. If you feel, see or notice you do something that is not seen as good driving, make the decision that you will not do it again and improve yourself.