The UK’s roads are very much a shared space.

With thousands of motorists travelling up and down them each year, we’ve all got our own ability to make things run smoothly for our fellow drivers.

However, there are some acts that wind other drivers up considerably. So here, we’re going to take a look through some of the top pet peeves that motorists have with one another - and how to avoid them.



Tailgating is one of the most common sources of irritation when driving in the UK. There’s nothing more annoying than looking behind and seeing some driving inches away from your bumper. It’s particularly an issue when travelling on the motorway, where speeds are higher and the potential for a bad collision is greater.

These drivers might even try and pass you on the inside, even if there’s not enough room to do so. As with most things with driving, the best way to deal with this type of driving is to remain calm, pull to the side when safe and let them through. There’s no point in getting riled up by it - simply let them pass and carry on with your day.

Middle-lane driving

Another frequent source of annoyance is middle-lane ‘hoggers’. In the UK, drivers must always move to the left when not overtaking; remaining in the middle lane forces other road users to move out and around you, slowing up traffic and causing congestion.

The Highway Code states that drivers should return to the left-hand lane unless they need to overtake, and if they do need to pass, return to the outside lane once they’ve overtaken. In fact, in more recent times, police have started handing out fines for drivers who hog the middle lane for extended periods of time.

Using a mobile phone

We’ve probably all seen it. There’s a car ahead that keeps slowing down and speeding up, while meandering in between the white lines of a lane. Pull alongside and - you guessed it - the driver is on their phone. It’s incredibly dangerous to use a mobile phone when at the wheel as it disrupts your concentration and stops you from focusing on the road ahead.

It also carries a hefty penalty, with six points and a large fine there for those who are caught using a phone at the wheel. So if you ever feel tempted, leave your phone where it is. And if you can’t avoid that temptation, then leave your phone somewhere it can’t be easily reached, like the glovebox. Ensure that it’s still available should you be involved in an accident or emergency, of course.

Tapping brakes on the motorway

Smooth motorway driving is all about looking ahead. When traffic is moving freely, drivers are travelling at the set speed and aren’t using the brakes too often. Using your brakes too often likely means that you’re too close to the car in front, which means you need to leave more space in between.

Plus, using your brakes too often might give the impression to those behind you that there’s a slowdown or traffic ahead - even if there isn’t. In response, there’s a good chance that they’ll slow down too, therefore causing congestion even when there wasn’t any in the first place.

Not maintaining a steady speed

There’s nothing more annoying than going to pass someone on the motorway that is travelling slower than you are, only for them to speed up as you pull alongside. Some of this can boil down to bad forward planning; if there’s an incline ahead, then it’s a good idea to apply more throttle beforehand to compensate, therefore maintaining a steady speed.

But if you’re travelling at your desired speed, don’t be tempted to randomly speed up.

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