Middle lane driving can be dangerous as it may cause road rage in other drivers
Middle lane road hogs make me mad! And that’s not a safe emotion when I’m doing 70 up the motorway (OK, 75).
In case you hadn’t noticed we drive on the left in this country so what are you doing stuck in the middle? Is it ignorance? Is it deliberate? Or are you in some kind of trance-like state, hypnotised by the monotony of the passing miles and the soothing tones of Radio 2?
Whatever the reason for your hopeless driving it is dangerous. Very dangerous. Because it has an unpleasant effect on other road users, turning them into road rage monsters intent on teaching you a lesson.
Surely you must have noticed the fast cars that roar up behind you in the slow lane and illegally pass on the inside – or are you so unaware of what’s going on around you that you don’t even see them?
Dangerous over- and undertaking is exacerbated by middle lane driving
Spare me your pathetic excuses like “there are too many lorries”, “it’s safer in the middle.” Just keep left and get out of the way
Have you never wondered why other drivers get so close behind you, flashing their lights and sounding their horns?
Did it not seem odd that when they eventually overtake you they almost rip your front bumper off as they hastily swerve all the way across to the slow lane, shaking a fist at you to follow them?
The fact that most middle-lane hogs don’t take the hint is what worries me most.
It indicates they’re not fit to be behind the wheel because they’re just not thinking about what a good driver should be doing.
Daydreaming on the motorway, I know, is easy to do.
Police may threaten you with a ticket if you don’t pull over into the left-hand lane
Last summer I was cruising along minding my own business in lane two on a near-deserted M1, it was such a pleasant sunny day I didn’t even notice the copper on a motorbike starting to fill my rear-view mirror.
As he drew past he gave me a dirty look and indicated with three angry gestures of his left hand that I was a menace who’d get a ticket if I didn’t pull into the left lane pretty sharpish.
How many times I’ve wished I were a traffic cop as I came across an idiot in the middle lane.
Trouble is, there are so many of them I would get writer’s cramp from issuing penalty fines.
So spare me your pathetic excuses like “there are too many lorries”, “it’s safer in the middle,” “other people shouldn’t be doing more than 70.” Just keep left and get out of the way!
43% of people admit driving in the middle lane, and 22% say it makes them feel safer
I am no fan of motorway driving. I’m usually to be found navigating my converted T4 VW campervan around tiny B-roads in the countryside where modest speeds and good reaction times are everything and where there is plenty of scenery to enjoy.
But on those rare occasions when the van and I do take to the motorway I know exactly where to position us.
Once up to speed I tend to chart a steady course down the middle. I know it’s wrong to be a road hog – rule 264 has remained etched into my memory like a guilty conscience since the day I passed my test in 1988 – but I believe myself to be a safer prospect for other road users this way, even if it means risking a £100 on-the-spot fine in the process.
And I’m certainly not alone in my middle-of-the-road preferences.
For cars with slow acceleration, regularly overtaking and changing lanes can be a stressful task
Forty-three per cent of people admit to doing it (65 per cent of Londoners) and 22 per cent say they do so because they feel safer in the middle lane. I identify with each and every one.
Understand that my beloved 17-year-old white diesel van is not famed for its acceleration – if I put my foot down while driving it the only sensation I feel is the floor.
And so, with the sheer volume of modern cars merging endlessly from slip-roads on the left, I prefer to remain safely out of their way as they zip in front of me and pull away with aspirational rapidity.
Like a third of people polled by insurer Direct Line I prefer to avoid changing lanes too much because I think it is dangerous.
When I do get caught up in the left lane it usually takes the van so long to pick up enough speed to overtake the countless slow-moving lorries and Sunday drivers that I’ve created a traffic queue by the time this has been accomplished.
I prefer to use existing momentum, especially so given that I tend to stick like glue to the 70mph maximum speed limit whenever conditions allow.
According to this new survey one in nine drivers who avoids the inside lane does so because they are happy to drive along at the maximum speed.
After all, anyone who wants to go a bit faster than the law permits still has the heady release of the outside lane on which to practise their Formula One skills.