The Worst Driving Habits in the UK

If you’re no stranger to our blog, you will know we’re all about letting you know little hints and tips about how you can gain a full UK driving licence with the minimum of fuss and stress! You will also know that’s not all we talk about. Our blog is full of information that will help new and “old” drivers alike. Today, we aim to let you in on some of the worst driving habits in the UK.

Before we get going with what are considered some of the worst habits, you may be feeling pretty smug right now because you’re one of the best drivers on the road – right? Wrong! It may seem harsh to point this out but no-one is perfect and when you read the information below, remember to take a good look at the way you drive because the chances are you’ve probably developed some, it not all of these habits as well.

Speeding Up and Slowing Down

OK, so there are a couple of things that spring to mind with this especially when it comes to driving on the motorway. For instance, how many times on a long journey have you gone sailing past another driver only to find they scoot past you minutes later? In fact, how many times have you done this?

You could also attribute this bad habit to both van and taxi drivers and the reason for this is probably because they always have to be somewhere. However, slamming on the accelerator for a half a mile, only to find you have to break particularly hard isn’t just dangerous it also costs more in fuel not to mention the amount of added wear and tear on your vehicle!

Changing Lanes Last Minute

Now you have to be honest with this one. We’ve all done it! There are generally two reasons why someone will feel the need to change lanes last minute, and both of them tend to happen in heavy traffic. The first is the type of driver who has not paid attention to where they’re going and has realised (last minute) they need to be in the other lane.

The other type of driver is the sort that just CANNOT stand queues and sees it as their God given right to change lanes so they can gain a few seconds journey time on everyone-else. This isn’t just annoying for other drivers it’s also highly dangerous and could result in an accident. Plus, it can make traffic problems worse so think about this the next time you decide to change lanes at the most inappropriate moment.


We have only used two examples in this post but there are many other bad habits to consider when you’re out on the road. In our last post we discussed drivers who refuse to move over to the inside lane on the motorway, and prefer instead to “hog” the middle lane. Again, this isn’t just dangerous but its VERY annoying for other drivers.

If you started reading this article thinking nothing at all was going to relate to you when you’re in a car, what do you think now?

Motorway Lane Discipline

You may have just passed your driving test and are now the proud owner of a brand spanking new full UK driving licence. However, not everyone has the benefit of being able to then go on to an advanced driving course that will really teach them about how to handle driving on a motorway. In which case, this article is a MUST read before you get into any bad habits.

If you’re someone who has had your licence for a while and think you know everything about motorway driving, you might be in for a shock! You see the law on motorway lane discipline in the UK is that you only use the two outside lanes when you intend to overtake. This may surprise some of you because there are an alarming amount of “qualified” drivers on the roads that simply don’t understand this rule, or choose to ignore it!

The Myths

  • Some people you come across view the inside lane (or the first) as the “slow” lane – not true! This is the lane where vehicles travel when they have no need to overtake.
  • Others think it’s their God given right to zoom along the motorway in the middle or 2nd lane without moving over. There may be several reasons for this. They might be nervous about moving lanes and have got stuck there (although that doesn’t account for this situation on the rare occasion the motorway is empty)! It could be they can’t be bothered to use their mirrors, and turn the wheel slightly so they can move over, or it could just be complete ignorance.
  • Drivers often refer to the 3rd lane (or the outside lane) as the “fast” lane – also not true! This lane is there if you need to overtake vehicles that are travelling too slowly in the first two, and was originally put there to ease traffic congestion.

Why You Should Use Motorway Lane Discipline

This is a simple statement to answer. It’s safer! For example, Lorries’ are big heavy vehicles that can cause a lot of damage if they’re involved in an accident. This type of vehicle is not allowed to use the outside lane on a motorway so they only have two open to them.

Say you’re “hogging” the middle lane and the motorway is moderately busy but you’re travelling too slowly for a lorry. The driver needs to overtake a vehicle on the inside lane but you’re in the way. They cannot go around you to the 3rd lane (it’s against the law), yet they can’t remain behind you because you’re stuck in their overtaking lane.

This can, and does lead to terrible accidents, which is just one of many reasons why you should observe the rules! We say this to all new drivers who have not been able to benefit from taking a pass plus:

Ignore people if they refer to motorway lanes as “slow”, “middle” and “fast”. Instead, remember they are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Oh, and also remember the maximum speed limit is 70mph and that’s there for a reason too!

Tips on Driving Abroad

This article is probably aimed at those of you who have been driving for a while and have an adventurous streak. It could also be that you intend to take a holiday in Europe and want the freedom of a car. It doesn’t matter if you intend to take your own car, or hire one; rules and regulations for driving in Europe can differ in a huge way compared to those in the UK.

So, in the following few words we aim to give you some handy tips and advice on what you should consider if you’re about to use the roads abroad.

Getting to Know the Basics

The one thing that seems very obvious to point out, but it is easily forgotten is that many countries in Europe drive on the right and not the left, so this is the first thing you have to consider. You have to think about not just being able to handle your car correctly, but get used to everything being on the “other side”.

For example, it can take a bit of getting used to when you have to reach for the gear stick with your right hand instead of your left (let alone all the other controls you’re used to). You will also have to think about how you use your “mirror, signal, manoeuvre” as well. If you’re worried about doing this, there are driving instructors out there that can help, so it might be a good idea to give one a call.

Also bear in mind that whilst we’re used to MPH (miles per hour).  In Europe everything is KM (kilometres) instead. So, if you see a sign that says 30 KM to the next town, it will be a lot closer than you’re used to.

The country you choose to drive in will have some basic warning signs that don’t look that much different to those we have in the UK, but again, it’s worth getting a handbook so you can familiarise yourself with those that might cause some confusion.


It’s now compulsory to have reflective jackets in your car along with a road assistance kit, and in some countries you have to make sure you have jackets for both the driver and passengers which should be on show. In Spain for instance, it’s not uncommon to be stopped by traffic police just so they can take a quick look inside to make sure you’ve adhered to this rule.

Drinking and driving goes without saying – don’t do it! However, if you intend to drive in France (even if you’re just passing through) you will have to make sure you’re carrying a personal breathalyser kit. In fact, it may surprise you to know that Spain, Italy, and France are very hot on drinking and driving. The police will think nothing of stopping you at random so they can make sure you’re not over the legal limit which incidentally, is much lower than the UK.


If you’re taking your own vehicle, make sure it’s had a proper service before you leave and if you intend to hire a car, take all the safety information you can lay your hands on. Driving abroad doesn’t have to take the fun out of your trip as long as you follow the rules.

Do I Need Glasses for Driving?

This is a question many people don’t ask, and the main reason for this is pride! As silly as it sounds, lots of us don’t like to admit that our eyesight might be failing however, this could be a very dangerous thing to do if you often spend time on the roads.

The trouble with eyesight issues is they don’t tend to happen overnight. You might notice that you have to draw in closer so you can read a map or road sign (or indeed move away so you can see it more clearly). If you think this might be you, you’re not alone! Statistics show that at least 26% of drivers in the UK haven’t had an eye test in the last 2 years.

Legal Requirements

Unfortunately, the DVLA has yet to tighten up the laws on how healthy your eyesight is when you drive. In fact, the only real test you have is during your practical driving test when you have to be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away without any trouble.

If you already wear contact lenses or glasses when you have to take this test, it’s not a problem. After that, there is little in the way of regulation. In fact, the DVLA relies upon you and to some extent, insurance companies so they know you can see properly when you drive.

How to Recognise the Signs

Aside from having trouble not being able to read various road signs when you’re out driving, there are other signs to look for. Perhaps you don’t notice vehicles coming up to junctions very well, or you find it hard to see what type of vehicle is about to overtake you (motorcycles are a great example of this).

Don’t Be Embarrassed!

You shouldn’t let your pride get in the way. After all, millions of people have eye problems that vary in severity from slight long or short sightedness to more complicated issues. The fact is you’re not alone, and if someone close to you has expressed some concern, take this “on board”!

Visiting an optician isn’t taboo, and if it’s been a while since you saw one you might find you’ll have to book well in advance because so many other people are ahead of you in the queue. If you are told you need glasses especially for driving, make sure you wear them! Studies have shown that about 9% of drivers who are advised to wear glasses when they’re driving either forget or don’t bother.

There is no shame in admitting your eyes are not working like they once used to because this is one of the most common problems anyone can have, so make sure you visit the optician if you’re in the least bit worried.

It could save your (or someone-else’s) life. What would be worse? Reaching for the case that contains a pair of glasses you need for driving or having to deal with the fact that you or someone-else was severely inured in an accident that could have been avoided!

Older Drivers Should You Be Concerned?

The title to this post may seem offensive to some people however, there is no getting away from it because we all age. If you’re in the prime of your life and you’re reading this with anything but sympathy in your heart because you’ve recently come across and elderly person on the road, I suggest you think again!

Respecting our elders is sadly lacking these days and instead of showing some patience for people who are driving a little slower than you would like, or take more time at junctions is not something that should be met with rude gesticulations or a tooting of your horn.

The fact is the person that’s in front of you has been on this planet an awful lot longer than you, and it’s worth remembering you could actually learn a thing or two especially when you are out driving. However, there are some points that older people should think about if they’re still driving.

Fatigue and General Frailty

You may be 21 in your mind, but unfortunately your body is less than inclined to agree with you. If you do start to feel tired when you’re driving even if it’s just a short trip to the local supermarket, don’t be afraid to pull over and take a rest. You’ll feel better for it, and it may just stop you from getting into an accident.

Avoid longer journeys if you can. It’s tempting to think you can still do a 2 hour trip up the motorway, but as you’ve probably noticed times have changed on the roads since you learned to drive. People move much faster than they once used to, and a long car journey will not only take its toll on you physically but mentally as well.

The points above are incredibly important because if you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident that lands you in hospital, broken bones or other injuries will take longer to heal.

Your Licence and Being Fit to Drive

Once you reach the age of 70, the DVLA requires you (by law) to reapply for your driving licence, and this will have to be done once every three years from now on. Whilst you won’t have to re-take your test or undergo a medical, it’s up to you to be responsible enough to disclose any new health concerns that may have arisen.

For instance, if your eyesight is worse than it was, or you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that could affect your ability to drive – disclose it! If you don’t, it could land you in trouble. This is because the DVLA does have the right to make further investigations if they want to when you reapply.


Youngsters! Keep an eye on elderly family, friends and neighbours. If you’re in any way concerned about their ability to take to the roads safely, you must act upon it. This can be a delicate situation and if you’re having trouble getting through to someone, you could consider speaking to a professional driving instructor who has trained in the art of dealing with senior drivers. You never know, it might just save a life!

Long Car Journeys –Stay Safe!

We all know that every-time you get into your car, you’re taking a risk. However, for most of us we will breeze through our “driving lives” without any issues at all or at the very most the odd minor one here and there. Because driving does eventually become second nature (and if you’re currently learning believe us when we say it will), you can become a little complacent about the risks involved.

For those of your that drive long distances all the time, you could consider yourself a seasoned “pro”, but for people who don’t drive a long way very often the points made below are something you should really think about before you embark upon your journey (or, indeed during your journey).


If you intend to take a route that’s new to you, preparation is vital! OK, so no-one ever came to any real harm by getting lost but it doesn’t exactly help your stress levels so having a good idea of the route you intend to take is the one of the first things to think about.

The internet is a great place to start and there are many websites that will help you map out your route, and you can then print off a copy so it’s with you in the car. Of course, you shouldn’t forget to take a road map with you anyway just in case things do go wrong and you’re lost with the instructions you brought with you.

Satellite Navigation systems are something many people will turn to these days, however they’re not fool proof and can act as a distraction from what’s happening on the road so use these with care. In fact, in our opinion you should never rely solely on a SatNav system.

The Night Before

The very last thing you should do is go out with friends the night before, especially if alcohol is involved. Even one drink could still be in your system the next day, and you might feel OK but your faculties might not be what they should be. Instead, make sure you get an early night so you’re refreshed the next morning.

On the Day

Avoid having a large breakfast. The reason for this is a full stomach can make you feel sleepy pretty soon after you embark upon your journey, and this won’t help concentration levels. Consider a light breakfast, and then you can take a well earned break at a local service station for some refreshment no more than 2 hours into your trip.

Speaking of breaks, these should be something you take as often as you feel the need to. One of the biggest causes of accidents with long distance driving is tiredness, so if you’re concentration starts to wane, or you feel a little stiff it’s time to pull over for a while and take a break.

Above all, take your time! Being in a rush can cause all sorts of problems. Day-to-day life is stressful enough so treat your journey like a day out and you’ll be just fine.

Tips for Safe Driving This Christmas

As a new driver, the thought of going out on the roads at Christmas time can be somewhat of a worry. Not only is this one of the busiest times, people in general are not really taking much notice of what’s going on around them. Rather, they’re thinking about whether or not they’ve remembered presents for everyone, how they’re going to deal with the usual family “fallout” over Christmas dinner and a whole host of the other things.

Couple this with heavy traffic and poor weather, it’s no wonder there are more accidents during the festive season! So, we’ve decided to give you some tips on how you can stay safe when you’re out on the road.

Avoid Drink Drivers and Drink Driving

It goes without saying that if you intend to drive, you SHOULD NOT touch a drop of alcohol. Even the slightest sip can lead to your concentration levels being affected, and as we all know the police are particularly vigilant about people drinking and driving.

If you think you’re going to end up having a tipple (or two) at the office party or at the pub with friends there are a couple of things you can do:

  • If you’re in a group have a designated driver, and make sure this is someone that can be trusted not to reach for the bottle!
  • Take a taxi! This might cost you more than it does to drive but a few extra pounds for your trip is nothing compared to the devastation a road accident can cause due to driving when you’ve “had a few”.
  • If you can’t arrange either of the above, ask a friend or family member to be “taxi driver” for the afternoon or evening.

Avoiding drink drivers can be a little trickier because you’re not in control of what others do. However, there are some signs to look out for. If the vehicle in front is moving at a slower pace than expected, make sure you don’t follow them too closely.

The same goes for people who are driving at erratic speeds, or appear to be weaving about on the road. If you can, turn off and take a different route. If that’s not possible, choose a place where you can safely stop for a few minutes so you’re not driving behind or in front of the vehicle.

Get Your Car Checked

Lots of us will be making trips by car to friends or families during the festive season, so if you want to avoid any mishaps book your car in for a winter check. When you do this, your chosen mechanic will check things like the battery, lights, and wipers and anything-else that might mean you’ll be left calling for roadside assistance.

Above All

Although the tips above may seem obvious to you, you would be surprised at how many people don’t think about them. If you remain vigilant and make sure your car is in good working order, you’ll be set for a very Merry Christmas!

Don’t Stress Just Because It’s Rush Hour!

As a new driver it may surprise you to know that even the most seasoned drivers can get stressed out when they have to take to the roads during the rush hour, and with the festive period just around the corner this can make things ten times worse!

Some refer to rush hour as “stop, start driving” and with good reason! You also have to remember that this type of driving is usually done when people aren’t exactly at their best. First thing in the morning people are tired or even worse some are still feeling the after effects from the night before.

In the evening, it’s the same story. Everyone is tired after a hard day at work, their stress levels might already be up because it’s been a particularly hard day and all their concerned about is getting home to a warm house and a cup of tea.

Concentration Levels

Given the information above, it’s easy to understand that more accidents happen during rush hour than at any other time of the day. You also have to take into account the fact that you’re probably driving in heavy traffic which means you’ll generally be moving pretty slowly.

Coupled with thinking about other things and feeling like you have nothing more to do than stare at the car in front it’s no surprise that you’re concentration levels wane, and this is the one thing you need to avoid. Instead of looking at what the car in front is up to, try looking further along the line of traffic.

This will help you work out what speed everyone is likely to be doing when it’s “your turn” to move along. Doing this also helps you anticipate anything untoward that might happen.

Keep Your Patience

This is possibly one of the hardest things to do especially if you’re late for work. However, being told off for being a few minutes late instead of spending the day trying to sort out a road accident is a far better option. Avoid trying to nip into gaps that appear so you can get ahead more quickly. In fact, this isn’t going to get you anywhere! Plus, you might upset another road user and it doesn’t bear thinking about where that might end up!

Tips To Keep You Calm

Whilst we recommend you concentrate at all times, there are a few things you can do that will help to keep you calm:

  • Keep your arms and shoulders as relaxed as possible. The more you tense up the more your body will react.
  • If you do happen to stop in a traffic jam, have a stretch. Roll your head around or stretch your arms (but only when it’s safe to do so).
  • Finally, try listening to something that makes you laugh or pop on some soothing mood music.

If you follow some of the advice given above, you’ll find your drive to and from work or that trip to and from your Christmas shopping a far more pleasurable experience.

Tips on Motorway Driving

If you’re new to the world of driving, going on a motorway alone for the first time can be something of a worry. However, it’s easier than you might think. One thing that puts a lot of new drivers off is the speed at which everyone is travelling, and yes, it can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to it.

So, just for you we’ve decided to give you some tips and other snippets of information in order to help you feel more confident about this aspect of your new skill.

Motorway Driving Is Safer

This sub-heading might shock you but statistics do show that generally, driving on the motorway is much safer than other roads and here’s why:

  • Everyone is travelling in the same direction.
  • There are not as many other potential hazards to worry about than when you’re, say, driving in town. Cyclists, pedestrians, mopeds, and various agricultural vehicles are not allowed on motorways so this removes this hazard.
  • The road is usually straight for many miles so you don’t have to worry about slowing down for tight bends.
  • There are no T-Junctions, roundabouts or traffic lights to worry about.
  • The lanes are wide and very well marked.

Joining a Motorway

This is possibly the time when you will be most nervous because the world is suddenly moving much quicker than you’ve been used to before. However, fear not! You can join a motorway from a roundabout or a main road using what’s called the “slip road”. Once you’re on the slip road, you will then join an acceleration lane.

At this point you need to keep your wits about you and using what you were taught in terms of mirror and signal when learning to drive really comes into play. Make sure you’re going with the flow of the traffic and use your indicators to let others know you’re about to join the motorway. Use your mirrors, and if necessary look over your shoulder to make sure you’re not interfering with other vehicles.

Leaving a Motorway

Motorways in the UK are incredibly well sign-posted so you’ll know well in advance which junction you need. As you approach the exit you will see a 3 countdown set of signs (see the picture above). Don’t slow down just yet. You only need to do this once you’ve actually moved into the deceleration lane.

Watch your speed once you’ve left the motorway, for novice drivers it can take a while to acclimatise back to driving on a normal road again. Also remember that you’ll more than likely come up against roundabouts or traffic lights almost immediately after leaving the motorway.

All in All

Driving on the motorway isn’t the hardest thing in the world to do. In fact, it can get to the point where you find it boring because you’re simply driving in a straight line. Make sure you’re not over tired when you take to the motorway, observe proper lane usage and you’ll be just fine.

Now Is the Time for an Advanced Driving Course

In the UK, we’re already experiencing those cold winter mornings. If you’re lucky the sun is shining, and everything looks crisp and fresh because of the layer of frost that’s on the ground. If you’re not so lucky, you start the day when it’s grey, miserable and wet! For those of you that drive to and from work you will be well aware of the additional hazards you face at this time of year.

Not only do you have to deal with ice patches on the roads (in some cases black ice which can be very dangerous), you also spend more time driving in the dark than you do at other times of the year. This is why; especially if you’re a young driver winter is the perfect time to take an advanced driving course.

Some Statistics for Young Drivers

If you think you don’t need any help with an advanced driving course, perhaps you should take a look at the statistics below:

  • There is just 1 in 8 drivers in the UK that hold a full driving licence who are under the age of 25. However, 1 in 3 of those drivers dies in a car crash!
  • During the first year of driving with a full licence, 1 in 5 drivers will be involved in an accident.
  • This is in no way meant to be sexist because it is fact. Male drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to be involved in an accident than female drivers.
  • Early mornings and late evenings are when most accidents involving just one vehicle are likely to happen.

As you see from the points above, it’s important you make sure you hone your driving skills as best you can.

What Advanced Driving Courses Offer

Possibly one of the most important aspects of a course like this is the fact you will be taught how to deal with driving conditions you don’t generally come across when it’s not winter time. Most (if not all) advanced driving course companies will offer you the opportunity to learn how to cope if your vehicle suddenly starts to skid across the road. This is especially useful when the roads are wet, or you unexpectedly hit a patch of ice.

Other aspects of a course like this can also include the following:

  • How to prepare your car for driving in winter.
  • Aquaplane awareness, and this is something that’s far more common during winter. It also needs to be dealt with differently than if you were to skid.
  • Advanced observations skills you won’t get taught with, say, a pass plus.
  • How to recognise when the surface beneath your car changes which can affect the way your tyres grip the road.

These are just a few examples of what an advanced driving course will offer, and winter is one of the few times of the year when you really need to know what you’re doing. Not only will you become a better driver overall, it may well save your life!

For more details you can visit our website.