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Are you one of the 32% of drivers guilty of hogging the middle lane?

By Mathilda Bartholomew | March 8, 2024

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National Highways survey reveals concerning driver habits that frustrate other motorists

Are you one of the 32% of drivers guilty of hogging the middle lane?

About one in three drivers admit to hogging the middle lane, and one in four have been caught tailgating on some of the fastest roads in the country, according to National Highways.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos UK for National Highways, found that 32% of drivers admit to occasionally hogging the middle lane on motorways and major A roads. About 34% noticed middle lane hogging on their recent journeys, causing frustration for many. Additionally, 67% of adults in England see tailgating as a serious issue, with 23% admitting to tailgating occasionally.

The survey also highlights that close following and lane hogging are considered serious safety concerns, with 73% believing driving too closely can lead to accidents. Both offenses can result in £100 fines and three penalty points. The campaign, with the slogan "little changes, change everything," will be featured on various platforms to promote safer driving habits.

National Highways Director of Road Safety Sheena Hague said, “Bad habits can make driving on our motorways a challenging experience, as those who lane hog or tailgate frustrate other drivers and make them feel unsafe. Both are dangerous and can cause accidents. 

“Our campaign aims to motivate motorists to embrace little changes, which will have an overall positive effect on both them and their fellow road users, reduce congestion and keep traffic flowing. 

“The message is simple – always allow plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front, and unless overtaking move into the left-hand lane.” 

Roads Minister Guy Opperman supports the campaign, stating, “This Government is on the side of drivers and is listening to their concerns. That’s why this campaign, as part of our Plan for Drivers, aims to tackle middle lane hogging and tailgating, which are not only irritating but dangerous too.” 

RAC road safety spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “Simply put, middle lane hogging and tailgating are far more than mere annoyances for drivers – these actions put everyone on the roads at risk. Closely following another motorist, for instance, could easily result in a serious collision should the driver ahead need to brake sharply for any reason. The fact nearly one-in-four drivers surveyed admit to doing so on some of England’s fastest and busiest roads is frightening. 

“Some offenders might find these habits hard to kick, which is why this campaign is so important. By understanding how we choose to drive affects others, we can each make a real difference to the safety of our roads.”   

The campaign urges drivers to maintain a safe distance, use the left-hand lane when possible, and avoid middle lane hogging. It emphasises the importance of allowing a two-second gap between vehicles, which should be doubled in rainy conditions, as recommended by the Highway Code.

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