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Does driving get crazier the further south you go?

(122 Posts)
Tailtwister Tue 30-Jul-13 23:08:36

For the first time in a good number of years I was driving on the M25/M4 today and was taken aback by some of the crazy driving I witnessed. Undertaking and cutting people up seemed the norm, along with tail gating and generally dangerous driving.

I was amazed at how aggressive the general driving style was. Granted, you see plenty of dodgy driving in Scotland too, but today almost everyone seemed to have a death wish! Is this normal or have I caught a particularly bad day? If this is the normal state of affairs I'm amazed there aren't huge numbers of accidents.

TedMoseby Wed 31-Jul-13 18:26:42

I used to commute on the M25 every day so didn't notice it but now I live in Devon I notice how craaazy it is as soon as I hit it. People just pick a lane (say 3rd lane) and sit in it at 60mph.

That said, driving down here is just as insane. People here fly out of side junctions and stamp on the break when they're already in the road that I'm driving along. They park in ridiculous places-e.g. opposite a parked car on an empty road creating chaos and drive super fast on very narrow roads that they can't possibly see very far ahead on.

I'm confident and I drive a lot for my job, but I find it so stressful. In my ideal world, everyone would just follow the rules and then there'd be far less road rage and stress.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 31-Jul-13 18:44:28

Well, I grew up in Yorkshire then spent lots of time in London and every time I go 'home', I'm told I'm an aggressive driver! So - I think you're right! I absolutely agree with the comments made about drivers around Heathrow. Honestly, every summer it's the same - lost tourists dilly dallying on the M4 risking the lives of those who live and work locally who are driving at the speed limit for the motorway, rather than at 30mph. Seriously. Get off the motorway and onto the perimeter road. It's circular FGS so you'll get to the right place soon enough!

kim147 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:07:16

M25 around M4 to M3. Why do you bother? It seems to be one long jam. And is it 5 or 6 lanes wide now?

Then again, we have some interesting rural roads up here where you get bikers doing about 100mph.

maillotjaune Wed 31-Jul-13 19:19:35

I've seen far worse driving outside London. Paris peripherique is probably no worse than the North Circular but feels more stressful as it's less familiar and I find the signposts harder to follow.

Worst driving I've seen was a Belgian plated BMW towing a big caravan doing over 90mph in the fast lane of a French motorway.

Wbdn28 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:29:23

Yes. There are more people in the south-east who are aggressive drivers with a superiority complex.

pussycatwillum Wed 31-Jul-13 20:32:57

Peterborough is the worst round here, but then where I live it is cheery wave country, so perhaps I just don't have a realistic driving experience.

PeanutButterMmm Wed 31-Jul-13 20:39:14

To me it is bizarre when people say "down south" when they only mean london. Kind of like saying "up north" and only meaning manchester.

To me london is not south - it is 100 miles north!

Hassled Wed 31-Jul-13 20:41:58

If you go as far South as Naples the driving gets truly mad.

rubyflipper Wed 31-Jul-13 20:45:54

I'd like to nominate St Vincent as one of the scariest places on earth to drive.

It's a lush, volcanic paradise in the Caribbean but the roads and the drivers ... shock

Poorly maintained roads that go up and down the hills with big potholes, no pavements, blind bends, sheer drops down cliffs on one side, lunatic drivers who go too fast and drive with headlights on full beam at night ... I refused to drive over there.

I seriously think the worst driving in the UK is in Lincolnshire. I used to live just north of Market Rasen and at the weekend you could count the number of cars that had come of the road the night before. After we moved back down south we saw a TV programme dubbing the A46 the most dangerous road in the country. shock

internationally, India is something else! Never seen anything like it anywhere else.

stubbornstains Wed 31-Jul-13 20:59:44

I learnt to drive in London, and I like it. It's like some kind of computer game, and you have to be pretty snappy, but I often find it surprisingly courteous and almost comradely- "we're all in it together"-like.

The farking Home Counties are the worst, by far. I don't care if your job as Assistant Director of Personnel at fucking Carphone Warehouse or similar is frustrating you, stop tailgating me in your fucking shiny BMW , I'm already doing slightly over the speed limit, you're not some fucking stallion of the roads, you are in fact a cunt.

(Born and bred in the Home Counties. Fled aged 16. Issues. grin)

stubbornstains Wed 31-Jul-13 21:02:05

The Paris Peripherique is juussst fiiiinnne if you're the largest vehicle on the road. I spent many happy hours in the jumpseat of a 52-seater touring coach on the Peri, goggling at the smart cars carving us up with aplomb grin.

Caboodle Wed 31-Jul-13 21:17:12

YANBU...it's all us Northerners who are just bloody knackered after 7 hours behind the wheel trying to get to our holiday in Cornwall....

honeyroastedcashews Wed 31-Jul-13 22:12:52

Agree with Perdita re Lincolnshire. We lived there for a couple of years and I've never ever seen such consistently terrible driving anywhere else. And that's despite the fact that most of the roads are pretty empty most of the time...

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Wed 31-Jul-13 23:27:26

S'funny, I actually find it's the people with an*in*feriority complex who are the most aggressive, inconsiderate drivers Wbdn28, and I couldn't isolate their origins, I've seen them everywhere.

rubyflipper that gave me a real jolt, I lived in St. Vincent for a year, 1977/78, but there weren't many cars then, or roads actually.
Was lovely.

BettyandDon Wed 31-Jul-13 23:37:09

Definitely, I have done the drive from Scotland to London many many times and the traffic gets way faster the further south you go.

nannynick Wed 31-Jul-13 23:44:58

Though living in the South and driving to Scotland quite a bit, I would say that on some roads the drivers in Scotland go far faster than I do - I presume they know the road well so know where the tight bends are.

Inconsiderate drivers everywhere alas, though you also come across nice people who let you join a queue of traffic, or who give way at a junction correctly.

I don't drive into London though, cities are a nightmare. Came through Bristol a couple of days ago, even that was hard!

itsonlyapapermoon Thu 01-Aug-13 00:57:39

When I was over there we were in Durham, and I have never felt safer on the road haha! People were really courteous and shock horror KNEW how to use a round-about properly!! You don't get that over here. It's basically give way to whoever is on the roundabout first. Noone gives an inch. Bloody maniacs!

I don't think I will be going to Eritrea for my holidays - road deaths by country.

The UK is right down the bottom of the list of road deaths. I think any presumed North/South divide (and I don't really agree for the record) is pretty minor really.

I think we are looking more at a congested v non-congested road issue although having said that, some of the worst driving I have experienced is being driven down French country lanes by a Frenchman - in a 2CV just to extend the cliché.

primallass Spain Thu 01-Aug-13 09:11:46

I don't think it's the speed, it is the sheer volume of traffic. It freaks me out. We did Fife-Bristol-Fife a few weeks ago and I was so happy to get home to nice empty roads. I used to do a NWLondon-Luton commute and even 15 years ago it was bumper-bumper every day.

LessMissAbs Thu 01-Aug-13 09:45:22

There's also what I like to call the 'Aberdeen Special' (because it happens so often there).

Cars parked on the opposite side of the road, car coming towards you, also on the opposite side of the road. You have the right of way (what with us driving on the left in thus country), only to find your way blocked by a vehicle overtaking the parked car, right into you. Often accompanied by lots of indignant looks, aggressive honking, rude gestures and rolling down of windows to shout abuse at you.

Waiting til the road is clear and then moving out appears to be an advanced manouvere not covered in driving lessons.

BuntyPenfold Thu 01-Aug-13 09:51:31

I agree about the terrible drivers in Lincolnshire, it was probably my mother.

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