Cruising in the middle lane is not only frustrating for other drivers but also illegal and could land you with a hefty fine and 3 points on your licence. Not only is it one of the most annoying things that drivers do but it can also be very dangerous.
Incredibly 50% of motorists admit to doing it and it is considerd as “careless driving” by the law. For most people it’s just plain laziness despite the risk of a fine.
So these are the top reasons drivers gave in a recent survey as to why they stay in the middle lane even though they could easily drive in the left lane:
- I don’t have to change lanes as often
- I can drive faster
- I don’t like driving too close to the rumble strip
- I see everyone else do so why can’t I
- The middle lane tends to be the clearest and therefore the easiest to drive in
- The rules say that car drivers should drive in the middle lane with lorries in the left lane
- I feel safer driving in the middle lane as I don’t have to change lanes
- I drive at the speed limit so nothing should ever overtake me
- I’ll only have to keep pulling out if I’m in the left lane to keep overtaking slower vehicles
- I have much better visibility in the middle lane
After analysing almost 100 houyrs of video footage, research shows that around a quarter of motorists drive in the left lane as the law requires. However around the same amount stick to the right hand lane hardly ever moving back to the middle or the left lanes.
The remaining 50% use the reasoning that they don’t like the hassle of constantly changing lanes to overtake lorries as their main reason for staying in the middle lane and also the fact that the middle lane is faster.
There tends to be places in the UK where drivers are more likely to stay in the middle lane with 65% of people living in London guilty of doing it while driving on motorways such as the M4 and the M25. Drivers in Northern Ireland are close behind at 60%.
Some of the areas also bad for hogging the middle lane are to be found in the North East and in the Midlands.
The rules are there to keep the traffic flowing smoothly and to keep everyone safe on Britains fastest roads.
At Peter Skelton Driving School we teach and encourage pupils to overtake while we practice on the A34 in Newbury and along the M4. Overtaking is an important skill that we should all be able to master and at times will be necessary if there are lane closures or an accident in the left lane.