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“Middle-lane hoggers seem to be out in force these days”

After a busy few weeks on the road, editor-in-chief Steve Fowler is dismayed at the quality of drivers in the UK

Opinion - middle lane hoggers

I’ve driven a fair few hundred miles over the past week and one thing has struck me: the standard of driving on UK roads these days is shocking.

My biggest bugbear – after many hours spent on the motorway – is the Middle Lane Owners’ Club, who seem to be out in force these days, especially at weekends.

The Highway Code appears to be forgotten by most people once they’ve passed their test, but it’s crucial reading for all drivers. And if they were to re-read the Highway Code, they’d see that Rule 264 states: “If you are overtaking, you should return to the left lane when it is safe to do so.” That doesn’t mean sit in lanes two, three or four just in case you have to overtake something else.

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I took to Twitter to see what other people thought and yes, it’s middle-lane hoggers, drivers who fail to indicate and tailgaters who seem to annoy us most.

In addition, I decided to run a quick poll to find out whether people think that the standard of driving is getting better or worse. As expected, 84.4 per cent of those who answered said that in the past few years it’s deteriorated. No surprise and, for the record, I agree.

So who’s to blame? I asked on Twitter whether people thought their driving had got better or worse over the past few years. Nearly 80 per cent said their driving had actually got better or stayed the same.

That begs the question: if it’s not me and it’s not you whose driving has got worse, whose is it?

What’s clear is we all need to take more responsibility for our driving. That means making sure we know the rules of the road and, if necessary, brushing up on skills that will let us enjoy our time behind the wheel more, and keep us safe. I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have had plenty of driver training – but that doesn’t mean I can’t still do better.
We never stop learning in life, and that should include our driving, too.

Do you agree with Steve? Let us know your thoughts on UK driving standards in the comments section...

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Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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