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Motorway Middle Laners

Motorway Middle Laners

Posted On 03 Sep, 2015

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If you asked UK drivers about the most annoying bad driving habit on the motorway, you can bet many them would say “middle laners”. These are drivers who insist on driving in the middle lane whether the left hand lane is empty or not.

Section 264 of the UK Highway Code states:
“You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.”

Unfortunately, the practice of driving long distances sitting in the middle lane of the motorway without moving back into the left hand lane is, for many people, quite common. Staying in the middle lane when you should have moved over is not only annoying, it can also be very dangerous and cause accidents. Driving in the middle lane on an empty motorway at a steady speed is against the Highway Code but perhaps not dangerous in itself. However, doing it on a busy road leads to the problem of tailgating and can lead to serious accidents.

The middle lane and the right hand lane are for overtaking, nothing more and nothing less. The idea is that everyone drives in the left hand lane and moves out to overtake when necessary. The problem arises when cars wanting to overtake find themselves stuck behind a slow car in the middle lane. The cars behind then either need to move out into the fast lane or stay stuck behind a slow car. The whole system is thrown into chaos and drivers are far too often tempted to undertake the slow driver.

Undertaking is illegal and can result in an on the spot fine and endorsements. This is because it is highly dangerous and can cause a crash. Ultimately, hogging the middle lane can and does elicit dangerous behaviour from others.

So why do people hog the middle lane? In the most part it is because they do not observe the Highway Code. However, sometimes people are terrified of driving on the motorway and changing lanes. This means when they move to the middle lane because of a truck or something slow, they stay there and are too scared to move back. Perhaps this is good debate for introducing Motorway driving as part of a learner’s education and testing?

The Hertz Rent2Buy team are keen on road safety and advocate using the middle lane as it should be used!

Section 264 of the UK Highway Code states:
“You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.”

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