Driving Habits That Really Grind Our Gears
The purpose of driving is to get us from A to B – we want nothing more than to do this in a relaxed manner - enjoying the scenery, listening to a bit of music to set the tone, and upholding that sense of freedom.
“Driving? Relaxing?! You’re having a laugh!” I hear you say.
And quite rightly so. Unfortunately, for many of us, driving can often leave us feeling stressed, and the actions of others are sometimes enough to ruin our day – or worse, mean you’re involved in a road traffic accident.
Non-fault road traffic accidents often occur because of negligent behaviour – including many of the bad habits a lot of us have picked up since the day we joyously passed our tests. Do you think you’d be able to pass your test again if you were to take it tomorrow? I’m sure most of us would answer yes...
As well as the weather, driving is one of the main conversation-starters in the UK, so at Non Fault Claims, I asked everyone in the office about their driving pet peeves.
Quite unexpectedly, it started an entertaining and rather therapeutic session of getting it all off their chests - it caused quite a stir!
The list of annoyances that I accumulated was far too long to write about here, but some of the more comical responses were things like, ‘people picking their noses’ and ‘anyone in nice, expensive cars or convertibles’ – how dare they!
While some responses were funny and we all felt the same, the truth is bad habits count as negligent behaviour, meaning that that person could be liable for causing an accident. The Department for Transport reports that the behaviour of drivers is one of the main causes of road casualties – but proving this can be a challenge.
At Non Fault Claims, we are here to provide expert advice, including helping you to prove fault in an accident. We aim to make the whole process smooth and get you back to the life you had, with any losses adequately compensated.
Here are the top 5 habits that drive us round the bend (in no particular order of annoyance):
1. Lane Hoggers
This is certainly the most-hated habit - those who stay driving in the middle or outside lane while not over-taking anyone. We can confirm that it is, in fact, illegal – the RAC state that it’s an offence which comes under ‘careless driving’, meaning that any lane-hogging criminals can be fined £100 with an added three points on the licence. So, pack it in!
IT Fleet Automotive mention a study that revealed one in ten people having experienced being in a road accident as a result of lane hogging - so not only is it illegal, it’s dangerous.
Proving that someone was doing this while causing your accident can be really difficult. At Non Fault Claims, one of our advisors will assess your situation and put you in touch with a lawyer who can help you with this every step of the way.
2. Not Using Indicators
Something else that gives us road rage is when drivers don’t give two toots about letting us know where they’re going. Particularly at roundabouts – are we meant to read minds? While it’s not yet the law to receive a penalty for this, it can still cause accidents, so don’t be lazy and please just let everyone know – you’re not invisible!
Last year, Driving Test Finder said that AA street watchers discovered that 40, 000 road accidents (probably more) occurred due to drivers not using indicators – nobody wants to be that person, so go on, just flick that lever and let everyone know.
If you’re changing lanes on the motorway, make sure you let your indicator click 3-4 times. Indicating just as you’re going into the other lane is too late and for other drivers, it could come as a bit of a surprise and end up causing an accident.
3. Using Mobile Phones
We’ve all known since 2003 that it’s illegal and dangerous. The penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving is 6 points and a £200 fine, but depending on the situation, it could be a LOT more. This doesn’t stop people, however, and it’s driving us bonkers. We’ve witnessed people driving too slow, losing concentration and swerving about the place because their mobile has taken priority. Text or call them back later – you don’t want to be the cause of an accident.
In 2016, UK drivers paid a total of £10million in total of fines for using their smartphones while driving – and it’s said to have soared since then! That’s a pretty outrageous amount.
While a fine isn’t life-threatening, the act itself is – last year, a lorry driver killed a mother and her four children while doing this, which just isn’t acceptable. The proof was found on the driver’s dashcam - but if proving something like this is difficult, one of our solicitors can help you.
I’ve had to rephrase the complaint, but a person ‘driving too close to our backsides’ is a real pet hate of ours – we know it is for you, too. The real trick here is not to let it get to you - if an accident were to happen, in most cases, the tailgator would be liable.
IT Fleet Automotive also found that 82% of drivers have experienced this – and 19% of drivers have been involved in an accident because of tailgating. As well as causing accidents, this habit really makes us lose our rags, which leads us onto our final bug-bear…
5. Aggressive behaviour
While modern-day life understandably gets us feeling stressed at times, we feel it’s completely uncalled for when drivers become aggressive and antagonise us out on the roads.
Heightened emotions such as anxiety, stress and anger are experienced by so many drivers, which can lead to making mistakes, driving faster, losing focus and concentration – therefore causing many accidents, as stated by Brake.org.
Aggressive drivers speed. Time and time again, we hear about speeding accidents but it doesn’t seem to stop us. Take cyclist Ian Milner who was killed by a HGV driver going 3mph over the speed limit. While many feel like driving a few extra miles per hour isn’t a big deal – they’re wrong.
If you feel stressed or angry while out on the roads, please pull over and take the time to calm down. Try to leave plenty of time for your journey, so that you’re not inclined to speed and put other people’s lives at risk, as well as your own.
It’s better to be ‘Mr. Driver who was late’ than ‘the late Mr. Driver’.
Non Fault Claims
Proving that someone’s aggressive actions or bad habits caused your accident can be tricky, but at Non Fault Claims we have experts available to help you. Call us today if you’d like more information or need help with proving that an accident you had wasn’t your fault, and one of our advisors will be more than happy to speak with you!