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Survey finds perceived increase in middle lane hogging by drivers

Date: 22 March 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Around half of drivers think that middle lane hogging and undertaking on motorways are getting worse, according to research by the AA.

The motoring organisation and polling firm Populus found that 49% of drivers think middle lane hogging is becoming more common, while 50% said the same for undertaking. 

The AA says this is despite the number of fixed penalty notices for careless driving falling by 8.4% in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available. 

AA Charitable Trust director Edmund King said: "Middle lane hogs are always in the top three pet hates of drivers, so it doesn't help harmony on the roads if drivers perceive the problem is getting worse. 

"At best, middle lane hogs and undertakers are annoying, but the reality is these habits are dangerous. Blocking lanes often leads to other drivers tailgating, which itself leads to collisions. 

"The drop in fixed penalty notices for careless driving probably points more to a reduction in traffic police than it does to a meaningful change in behaviour. 

"Hopefully allowing learner drivers on motorways will lead to a new generation of drivers who better understand lane discipline."

The research also identified a particular issue with lanes on smart motorways, with 38% of drivers saying they will not drive in lane one of these for fear of running into broken-down vehicles.

The research also covered other types of driving behaviour, and found that 55% of drivers think tailgating is getting worse, 53% said the same for speeding, 50% thought mobile phone use was on the increase, and 47% thought road rage was a growing problem.