17 May 2017
The AA has polled more than 140,000 members since 2008 to find out what they think is the most irritating trait of other drivers.
- Tailgating has been ranked the most irritating habit of drivers on UK roads for six out of the past seven years according to research by the AA.
- Talking on a mobile phone has consistently come second, except in 2014 when it 'won' the top spot.
- Middle lane hogging comes third with other habits such as; speeding, driving too slowly and overtaking on the inside at the back of the pack.
Pet hates 2017
- Tailgating (26%)
- Talking on a mobile (25%)
- Middle lane hogging (23%)
- Swooping* (10%)
- Overtaking on the inside (7%)
- Driving slowly (3%), speeding (3%), littering (3%)
The police can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice
In August 2013, the Coalition Government gave the police new powers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for incidents of careless driving such as tailgating and middle lane hogging. However, since their introduction the number of people issued a ticket for careless driving was 8,000, whereas over 55,000 tickets were issued to people for not wearing a seatbelt. Both of these figures have fallen significantly over recent years.
Fewer traffic police
The Transport Select Committee found that the number of specialist traffic officers had fallen from 7,104 to 4,356 between 2005 and 2014, which could be the reason why the number of Fixed Penalty Notices for these offences are lower than in previous years.
Too important to be handed over to private companies
It has been suggested that Highways England traffic officers could be employed to monitor some aspects of roads policing such as speeding and lane hogging, however three quarters (75%**) of AA members say that they would like to see more police officers on the roads to deal with such offences, with more than seven out of 10 (72%) saying that road policing is just too important to be handed over to private companies.
Tailgating and hogging the middle lane is not only annoying but dangerous. Drivers across the country are so fed up that they feel more police officers are needed to help control the situation.
Jack Cousens, AA public affairs officer says “Tailgating and hogging the middle lane is not only annoying but dangerous. Drivers across the country are so fed up that they feel more police officers are needed to help control the situation.
“Unfortunately the number of specialist traffic officers has been cut since 2005, which has meant the new police powers introduced three and a half years ago have had a limited impact.
“Getting frustrated by the selfish, inconsiderate behaviour of others could cause you to make a mistake, Try to stay calm and focus on your own driving.”
Cousens continues “Policing is a key concern to voters in the upcoming election and funding more officers across the board would be a welcome sign.
“Simply having a larger and more visible police presence on our highways will encourage greater compliance with the rules of the road and improve road safety.
“It will also send a signal to those who frequently abuse the road that their chances of being caught have been increased. At present it seems that offenders simply feel they can get away with it on a daily basis.”
* Cutting across lanes to leave a motorway at the last minute
**Populus received 20,055 responses from AA members to its online poll between the 14 and 21 February 2017