Research from Confused.com revealed that one third (32%) of drivers on UK motorways admit to hogging the middle lane, while up to four in five (82%) report they have experienced tailgating.
Additional findings showed that one in five (19%) of drivers have been in a road accident, or narrowly avoided one, as a consequence of tailgating by another driver. One in ten (11%) report similar as a result of drivers hogging the middle lane.
Legally speaking, careless driving offences cover tailgating, middle lane hogging, undertaking and overly slow driving. Yet the research indicated that four in five (79%) of UK drivers were ignorant of the facts, unaware that tailgating can lead to three points on your driving license and a fine of £100 if caught. Comparably, two fifths (37%) did not know that hogging the middle lane can lead to equivalent penalties.
The research also revealed that dangerous driving can cause others to drive irresponsibly. Over two in five (42%) motorists admitted to breaking the speed limit in order to overtake drivers sticking in the middle lane. A further eight in ten (79%) admitted not knowing the recommended distance to keep between their car and the one in front during motorway travel.
Nearly half (42%) of motorists suggested tackling tailgating and raising awareness about lane discipline should be a greater focus for Government and related authorities. Tailgating is cited by drivers (35%) as their biggest annoyance on the motorway, followed closely by lane hogging (15%).
Confused.com has partnered with Thames Valley police to launch a video campaign on that theme, with the aim of spreading awareness about the risks of careless driving and the benefits of lane discipline.
“With millions of commuters driving to work each day, it’s likely that they will come across careless driving offenders on their travels,” said Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com.
“Unfortunately, it’s a difficult crime to catch in the act, and so-called ‘smart’ motorways have yet to address the issue, which contributes to congestion and accidents – not something drivers want to be faced with on their already busy commute to work.
“Hopefully, allowing learner drivers to practice on motorways from 2018 will be a step towards reducing the number of tailgaters and middle lane hoggers on our roads.
“Drivers who drive on motorways regularly should view our mini-series with Thames Valley Police for advice on how to deal with careless driving offenders and to ensure they don’t accidentally commit these offences themselves.”