Monday July 25th, 2011 19:57 Top 7 Motorway Driving Irritations

Driving should be a pleasant experience but frequently it is ruined by the actions of other motorists. Motorway journeys can be monotonous and tiring, and those little annoyances inflicted upon us by other drivers can really get the blood boiling. Here are my top seven:

Lorries Overtaking Each Other
Heavily laden trucks travel slowly. They are big and they get in the way. When there are two of them and one is trying to overtake the other it is almost certain to infuriate the drivers who get stuck behind.

Firstly, it takes forever because one lorry is travelling at 55 miles per hour and the other is travelling at 55.01 miles per hour. If the road is busy it means that two lanes are now blocked for the foreseeable future.

Then, once the two trucks are alongside each other, there’s the extra delay whilst the trucker’s code is enacted, that series of mysterious waves and gestures that nobody else is allowed to understand. Once complete, the overtaking truck then accelerates back to 55.01mph to complete the manoeuvre. Whilst all this is going on, you’re stuck behind them in your BMW 5 series rapidly losing the will to live.

Middle-Lane Hogs
Having good lane discipline is all very well and good but when other drivers stick religiously to the middle lane as though their lives depend upon it, etiquette swiftly disappears out of the window.

Why do they do it? The inside lane is clear yet still they sit there, gripping the wheel and maintaining a steady 60mph all the while, behind them, a tailback is starting to form. The other guarantee in this situation is that if any other driver takes matters into their own hands by under-taking, they will receive the most withering glare the brainless lane-hog can possibly muster.

Phone Users
People have to use the phone, we understand this. Mostly they are conscientious enough to do it safely by using the right equipment. It’s still really annoying though, because once they’re busy on the phone, attention to speed becomes almost non-existent. One moment they’re doing a steady 70, the next they’re down to 55 as their attention waxes and wanes and you have to pull out to overtake them. No more than two minutes later, they will come back past you doing 80 before starting the whole game over again.

It’s the kind of mobile hazard that used to feature regularly in those retro racing games but that has no place on the motorway. Utterly infuriating!

Flying litter
Any driver who discards half-eaten food out of their window so that it hits the car behind them should be made to suffer. A half-eaten hamburger, sandwich crusts, cigarette butts, plastic packaging…nothing is off limits for the litter louts.

Not only is it a safety hazard, but it is also the reason why the roadsides are covered in the stuff. Just keep it in the car until you can dispose of it properly!

People with don’t know how to use mirrors
Some drivers seem to think that mirrors are just for checking their hair. After all, the manufacturer’s kindly provision of three mirrors allows them to check every aspect of their profile. Often they will do this whilst overtaking but what they almost certainly will not do is check their mirrors before pulling back in again, forcing you to jump on the brakes and shake your fist at them. Naturally they won’t notice you shaking your fist at them because they don’t know how to use their mirrors.

People who drive as though it’s dry
When it’s raining, braking distances become longer. We all know this, so why are there so many drivers who think they can drive the same way in torrential rain and strong wind as they do on a calm, sunny day?

You’ll know the sort of thing – you’ve allowed for the longer braking distance by sitting a little further back from the vehicle in front of you, only for someone to dive into the space, forcing you to drop back again. Then it happens again…and again…and again…

Or they approach behind and then drive so close that a collision is inevitable if you are forced to brake suddenly. I can only imagine that these people base their driving style on the weather conditions inside the car.

Cutting into the slip lane at the last minute
Having made the effort to get into the right lane in plenty of time, your serene progress is disrupted by a driver who desperately wants to shave another 0.3 seconds off of their journey by overtaking just one more car. Soon this has turned into a row of cars, and they’ve arrived at their exit on the opposite side of the road. The inevitable wild manoeuvre across all three lanes should be punishable with something exceedingly painful indeed.

This applies equally to the lane closure for road works. Two lanes of traffic have patiently siphoned into one. But there’s always one driver who comes roaring along the now empty, and soon to vanish, lane and then has to cut in at the last moment bringing all other traffic to a virtual standstill as he does so.

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