13 bad driving habits to avoid

Gambling on amber, riding the clutch and forgetting to indicate are among the most common bad habits drivers tend to pick up after passing their test, according to experts.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 07:39 am
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 07:43 am
Bad parking is among the bad habits of drivers

Motoring specialists from LeaseVan.co.uk have revealed 13 bad behaviours often seen on UK roads in a bid to encourage experienced drivers to steer clear of these mistakes in the future.

From the annoying to the potentially dangerous, most vehicle owners could be guilty of slipping in to one or two of the bad habits from time to time.

Bad parking is among the bad habits of drivers

Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Even the most experienced drivers might find themselves slipping up on the quality of their driving sometimes.

“We’ve highlighted some of the most common bad habits seen on UK roads, so that British motorists can steer clear of bad habits in the future.

“From carrying needless baggage to leaving the full beam headlights on, most Brits probably know someone who’s been guilty of something on the list in the past.”

Here is the LeaseVan.co.uk list:

1. Crossing your hands whilst steering

Many drivers will have been taught to manoeuvre their vehicle by shuffling the wheel, but some will unwisely relax and cross their hands as they steer when let loose on the roads alone.

2. Riding the clutch

In manual vehicles, leaving your foot on the clutch pedal to leave it partially disengaged as if you were about to change gear (riding the clutch) can cause premature wear and tear to the disc and flywheel.

3. Getting too close to the vehicle in front

It’s fine to get a little closer in a slow-moving urban traffic jam, but on high speed roads drivers should consciously leave a reasonable gap between themselves and the vehicle in front, in case they need to stop or react suddenly.

4. Carrying needless baggage

Carrying around a boot full of items you’re not going to use that day will always hit Brits in the wallet – experienced motorists should realise that their vehicle’s fuel economy plummets when there’s loads of unnecessary extra weight on board.

5. Getting lost

Especially when travelling to somewhere you’ve never been before, drivers should learn their route before embarking on their journey or take a Sat Nav or traditional map with them rather than relying on roadside signage, to avoid the embarrassment and inconvenience of becoming lost or late by taking a wrong turn.

6. Hogging the middle lane on the motorway

Some motorists used to heavy traffic on major routes might not realise that a motorway’s middle lane is designed for overtaking and that if there is space to move to the inside lane without the need to drop your speed, you should to allow others to safely overtake rather than become frustrated and potentially undertake you.

7. Only having one hand on the wheel

All UK drivers are taught to maintain two hands on the wheel at all times, unless changing gears for example, but some will hold on to the gear stick for too long or travel with an arm leaning out of an open window, meaning they aren’t as in control of the vehicle as they should be.

8. Bad parking

Being in a rush, tired or distracted is no excuse for parking over two bays or too far from the pavement, which could potentially cause an obstruction or leave passengers needing to call a taxi to get to the kerb.

9. Not giving the road your full attention

Whether your vulnerable to an impromptu singalong, liable to grab a quick glove box snack or put off by the smell in a dirty vehicle, all potential distractions should be minimised before starting a journey.

10. Gambling on amber

Everyone has places to be and a limited amount of time in the day, but rushing through an amber traffic light, unless you are too close to the stop line to pull up safely, can be a big risk and could be dangerous – it doesn’t mean go.

11. Failing to indicate

Drivers should still use their indicators when turning, even if they think the road in front and behind of them looks empty or if they’re in a queue of traffic that is all turning left or right.

12. Not taking breakdown precautions

Vehicles that don’t maintain a spare wheel and basic tool kit are leaving their owners open to the possibility of a longer delay to their journey and a potentially significant repair bill in the event of a breakdown.

13. Leaving full beam headlights on

It might significantly increase the visible distance for you on the road at night on dark country lanes, but leaving headlights on their strongest setting when traffic is approaching from the other direction could startle fellow drivers and potentially cause an accident.