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Top 10 most inconsiderate driver habits

London trafficFailing to indicate clearly has been named as the most inconsiderate driving behaviour on UK roads, according to an RAC Insurance survey.

Nearly six in 10 (58%) drivers surveyed said not signalling clearly, or failing to indicate at all, was their top inconsiderate action at the wheel, ahead of hogging the middle lane of a motorway (56%) and driving too close to the car in front, which was voted for by more than half (51%).

The next most popular answers in the top five driving behaviours that cause other motorists the greatest angst were: getting angry with other drivers (46%) and selfish parking (45%).

Rank Which do you think are the most inconsiderate driving behaviours? Percentage
1 Not indicating clearly 58%
2 Hogging the middle lane on a motorway 56%
3 Not leaving plenty of distance behind the car in front 51%
4 Getting angry with other motorists 46%
5 Selfish parking – not parking between lines 45%
6 Not saying thank you to other drivers for letting them out of a junction / giving way to them 43%
7 Not slowing down when passing horses 34%
8 Not adhering to speed limits 30%
9 Not giving cyclists plenty of space 29%
10 Using the horn in anger 27%

Interestingly, when motorists were asked to say what makes a courteous and considerate driver the greatest proportion – seven in 10 (69%) – cited ‘always saying thank you to drivers that let them out of a junction giving way to them’.

Six in 10 (59%) felt it was slowing down when passing horses and half (49%) said giving cyclists plenty of space. Indicating clearly was the fourth most popular response (48%), but quite a long way ahead of ‘leave plenty of distance behind the car in front’ which was named by 40% of respondents.

Almost all drivers surveyed described themselves as being a courteous and considerate driver – only 1% didn’t – but they believe that poor driving is an all-too-common sight on the nation’s roads with only 4% saying they were unlikely to see any thoughtless behaviour on a typical half-hour drive.

While every driver polled by RAC Insurance thought it was important to show consideration for other road users nearly half (46%) didn’t know that ‘being considerate’ is actually mentioned in the Highway Code.

RAC Insurance spokesman Simon Williams said: “There are a variety of behaviours at the wheel that motorists class as being inconsiderate, most of which involve deliberate acts which are blatantly thoughtless, but the top answer of ‘not indicating clearly’ is probably more due to misunderstanding or forgetfulness.

“The confusion that it can cause is no doubt responsible for, at worst: accidents and at best: needless wasted seconds of waiting only to find out the driver wasn’t really going where you thought they were.

“The biggest example of ‘indicator confusion’ has to be at roundabouts. There seem to be different schools of thought on how to signal at roundabout and very few that follow the rules set out in Rule 186 of the Highway Code. If more of us were to follow the indicating rules there would probably be fewer bumps at roundabouts.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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