Bad driving habits that could get you into trouble

Bad driving habits that could get you into trouble

You might be in a hurry, but if you’re driving on a single lane road, with no chance of overtaking, there’s absolutely no excuse for being only a few feet behind the car in front, is there?

Driving too closely is just one of the bad driving habits that could land you with a fine, damage your car, or even end up causing an accident.

Severe penalties

It’s worth remembering that careless driving carries a maximum fine of £5,000, three to nine points on your licence or even a jail sentence.

Here are the most worst driving habits that any driver should work on eliminating:

  • Middle lane hogging – Plenty of drivers don’t think twice about cruising along in the middle lane, when the first lane is clear and there might be no need. However, doing so isn’t just annoying to other drivers, who then have to use the third lane to overtake, it could land you a fine and penalty points, so cut it out.

  • Outside lane hogging – It’s arguably worse to hog the outside lane on a motorway or dual carriageway than the middle one, as other drivers can only get round you by overtaking on the inside, which is itself illegal and very dangerous.

  • Failure to indicate – ‘Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre’, states the Highway Code. If all drivers on UK roads did so, there would be far fewer accidents, that’s for sure. Sadly, plenty don’t bother and mayhem sometimes ensues. Again, large fines can be meted out to those that don’t follow the code.

  • Jumping the lights – Many drivers think that the middle ‘amber’ signal means they can rush through just before the light turns red. It doesn’t. It should only be passed if you can’t pull up safely at the stop line. Of course, jumping the red itself is obviously dangerous and illegal.

  • Dazzling drivers – Leaving headlights on full-beam is another common and dangerous driving habit some drivers get into. It can not only blind oncoming vehicles but it can endanger your own car as well, as the car heading towards yours could veer into your path.

  • Driving too closely – Being unable to stop in time if the car in front of you comes to a dead halt because you’re driving too closely is probably the most common bad driving habit. Some drivers would say they’re unaware they’re doing it while others do it knowingly to pressure the car in front to go faster. Either way, it’s daft and dangerous. Also known as ‘tailgating’, you could face a £100 fine and points on your licence.

  • Riding the clutch – Leaving your foot on the clutch so you can quickly re-engage the gears is very tempting in certain situations, such as at traffic lights or when pulling up behind other cars that are in a stop-start queue. But, while not illegal, it can cause additional wear and tear to the clutch which can shorten the life of a clutch by years if done regularly.

  • In-car distractions – Everyone knows that using a mobile phone while driving is extremely distracting, potentially dangerous and could mean a large fine. Along with eating and drinking, it’s something that should only be done while stationary and with the engine turned off.

  • Driving too slowly – We’ve all been stuck behind someone doing about 30mph on a road with a 50mph limit. It’s very annoying and can encourage dangerous driving in some motorists to get around the slow driver. While not the worst offence on the list, it’s certainly one that can cause trouble and even lead to a fine or points on your licence.

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Published 20 August 2019


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