to get really annoyed by middle lane drivers?

(121 Posts)
cherryade8 Sat 25-May-13 23:08:30

Drove to visit relatives today on the motorway. As usual, there were a few middle lane drivers on the motorway, who were overtaking no one other than an empty lane to the left of them. They cause tailbacks and prevent other drivers overtaking, especially when the second overtaking lane is full of cars trying to get past. Aibu to get really angry with these people?!

The middle lane is for overtaking ffs, not poodling along in whilst the lane to your left is empty sometimes I want to undertake them to demonstrate the lane they are not using in other countries, such as Australia, the police fine you if you're caught in the middle lane whilst not overtaking another vehicle, why don't the police do that here?

Whatalotofpiffle Sat 25-May-13 23:35:01

I agree entirely! YANBU! Some people have no idea how to drive on the motorway and don't realise you should fill the left lanes and use the others for overtaking.

YANBU, motorway lessons should be compulsory after drivers pass their test.

Whatalotofpiffle Sat 25-May-13 23:36:51

I have said / ranted about this to friends though and they actually didn't know.... Is it an education thing? (like my dp not knowing that if there is no right exit on a roundabout the right hand land is used for straight over)

Whatalotofpiffle Sat 25-May-13 23:37:44

Lessons should definitely be compulsory

IKnowWhat Sat 25-May-13 23:41:10


Middle lane squatters are irritating and don't know their Highway Code.

PearlyWhites Sat 25-May-13 23:43:40

What if the left lane us full of people plodding along at 50 is it then acceptable to do 70 in the middle lane?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 25-May-13 23:46:46

YANBU to say that they shouldn't be sat in the middle lane but really, you can't afford to be wound up about this. It's an eye roll and an inconvenience.

And YABU to undertake. That makes you as bad as the middle laners I'm afraid.

MousyMouse Sat 25-May-13 23:47:55

I like driving in france for that reason. where you can (nearly) be sure that the annoying middle lane hogger who causes a jam has british plates...

Whatalotofpiffle Sat 25-May-13 23:53:58

Pearly, of course it is! 70 is the speed limit for all lanes.

Whatalotofpiffle Sat 25-May-13 23:56:55

But you move back if there is a gap

PearlyWhites Sat 25-May-13 23:57:17

smile I know, what I meant was is it acceptable to hog the middle lane doing 70, because that is what I do.

PearlyWhites Sat 25-May-13 23:58:04

Ok but there never seems to be a flipping gap.

manticlimactic Sun 26-May-13 00:41:07

If you are going faster than the vehicles in the left hand lane then yes, perfectly fine. It's not hogging if you can't get back into the left lane AND you're overtaking them.

SignoraStronza Sun 26-May-13 00:43:04

No, yanbu. Am doing a long distance drive on Tuesday - another thing to look forward to.

GTbaby Sun 26-May-13 00:45:27

I agree. My husband Didn't know this rule. Had his licence 10years longer then me. I get very wound up!

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 00:57:06

I usually drive 70mph on the middle lane. It saves moving in and out since inevitably there are always trucks and old guys in Rovers doing 50-60mph on the inside lane.

The consensus here seems to be that I am hogging the middle lane. Even if I am doing the national speed limit? confused

horseonabeach Sun 26-May-13 01:18:32

It's not about what speed you are doing!

YANBU OP. the absolute WORST are the massive cunts that move into the middle lane as soon as they're on the motorway! On - middle. Die, middle lane hoggers, die.

DupontetDupond Sun 26-May-13 01:47:37

Doing 70 is not an excuse to sit in the middle lane unless you are overtaking something in the inside lane.

Loulybelle Sun 26-May-13 02:17:21

YANBU, it drives me up the sodding wall, because its always some really small, underpowered car, even in my bloody Kia Picanto, i can go quicker than those bastards.

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 03:38:48

70mph is the national speed limit. I'm a cunt because you want to drive faster and I'm in your way???

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 03:43:19

Why do I get the impression that I've wandered into a thread full of twats who think that people should get out of their way so that they can bomb down the motorway at 80+?

SilveryMoon Sun 26-May-13 04:23:29

I'm a new driver, I always stay in the left Lane because it freaks me out to have cars on both sides.
What is the reason you're not allowed to undertake? I do that sometimes

FirstStopCafe Sun 26-May-13 04:31:42

YANBU - I hate this. Never undertake though, it's too dangerous

nightowlmostly Sun 26-May-13 05:24:34

habbadabba If I'm going along a motorway in the left hand lane and one across someone in the middle going slower, I have to change lanes 4 times to overtake you, when it should only take 2 lane changes. That makes it a lot more dangerous for me to overtake you, just because you fancy sitting in the middle?

And if you're doing dead on 70 then that's nice, but you're likely to slip under a little now and again, which makes it really annoying to be on the left side of you and having to slow down all the time to avoid undertaking. So I have to do the 4 lane change thing just to get past, when it should be much easier.

Just stay in the left unless you're going faster than the people in that lane, it's not hard! OP YANBU!

nightowlmostly Sun 26-May-13 05:25:29

Come across, not one across!

CityTiliDie Sun 26-May-13 06:18:29

I am always amazed at the number of invisible vehicles on the inside lane of the motorway. and the twats in the middle lane overtaking them.

It is an offence to stay in the middle lane, when there is no reason to be. It is dangerous as well. I know a motorway patrol cop who delights in pulling these knobs over and fining them.

Stay Left or FUCK OFF MY ROAD!!!!

PenguinBear Sun 26-May-13 06:28:59

I did a long drive yesterday and yes, there were quite a few people in the middle lane and stayed there for a 15 mile stretch. There were also a few idiots people in the outside lane, who appeared to be almost competing with people in the middle lane, I would guess they were doing 80 + 90mph respectively.

If the motorway is 4 lanes, which one(s) can you drive in? smile

StuffezLaYoni Sun 26-May-13 06:39:45

I drive from North East to Northants a few times a year, and every time without fail, there is someone whose driving literally gobsmacks me. Middle lane drivers....lorries who drive side by side in lanes one and two for two miles in a half arsed attempt to over take...

Last time was on a Bank Holiday Sunday and I was driving at a steady 70 when this ridiculous sporty car shot past me at a speed I didn't actually think was possible - I would genuinely have guessed his speed at around 150 miles an hour. I was absolutely shocked. But it did answer my question of whether the speed cameras through the midlands are actually switched on...

Bowlersarm Sun 26-May-13 06:41:14


This is so so annoying.

Silverymoon it's illegal and extremely dangerous. Drivers cannot see you as well (bigger blind spot) and will not be expecting someone to be undertaking. Please don't do it.

YANBU OP I hate this. Who cares if you're going 70? confusedI travel in the left hand lane at 80 if there's no one to overtake. It's not a slow lane fast lane thing they're for overtaking!! angryangry

I had to drive for miles on a motorway yesterday. It was grim.

The 'keep two chevrons apart' must be just for me because no other driver bothered. Ditto the 50 mph average speed limit through the non existent roadworks.

Everyone driving far too close and braking the whole time. angry

Bajillions of caravans too. It was so busy the middle lane thing didn't really apply but it winds me up.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 26-May-13 07:13:26

I don't get why this is so difficult to understand!

The middle lane is for overtaking, if there's a gap in the left hand lane or if the left lane is empty you get back in it.

What you don't do is pootle along in the middle lane oblivious, so that left hand lane drivers then have to get into the far right lane to overtake you.

It's really not that difficult!

MrsSparkles Sun 26-May-13 07:19:03

YADNBU! My DH always hogs the outside lane when he drives and we spend the whole journey arguing about it.

To those saying but I'm driving the speed limit - its got nothing to do with speed, you drive in the farthest lane to the left that you can, only moving out if you need to overtake.

I never specifically pull into the left had lane to undertake, however IMO opinion if the traffic in the left hand lane is moving faster than the middle lane which is a very regular occurrence then that isn't undertaking.

Jollyb Sun 26-May-13 07:22:53

Silverymoon - please have a motorway lesson. Becoming 'freaked out' when driving on a fast road isn't a good thing. I found my lesson really helpful and still use some of the tips 18 years later.

Not keen on middle lane drivers either. My stepfather does this as he prefers not to have to change lanes.

barefootwalker Sun 26-May-13 07:27:12

I currently do a lot of motorways driving and this gets me really frustrated. It's not a speed thing. The two outside lanes are both for overtaking. If you aren't overtaking anything then you should pull left regardless of what speed you are doing. I really don't understand why this rule is so hard for people to understand. I regularly find myself (particularly on a Sunday evening for some reason) having to move across all three lanes, out and back, to overtake someone sitting in the middle lane.

Sirzy Sun 26-May-13 07:28:19

Pobble is spot on.

It really winds me up and there is no excuse for it. Move out overtake and then move back in - simple!

Calabria Sun 26-May-13 07:28:44

I drove from Scotland to the south of England during the Easter holidays and mostly the lane discipline was pretty good.

Until I got to about 10 miles from my destination. The rain had started to pour down very heavily and some idiot decided it would be a good idea to drive at 45 mph in the middle lane of the A1. So I ended up driving at the same speed in the inside lane as there was no way I was going to try and overtake them in heavy traffic and poor visibility.

WarmFuzzyFun Sun 26-May-13 07:28:44

Whenever I go on the motorway the volume of traffic means that left lane and sometimes the middle lanes are full.

So unless I am driving at night, this is a non issue for me.

Also yesterday at some points yesterday all 3 lanes were stationary. When they moved a little there was lots of lane changing being attempted. What's that all about? confused

saintmerryweather Sun 26-May-13 07:31:25

i live near the start of a motorway, you can always tell who the twats are that dont read the signs, they come down the slip road and immediately move into the middle lane even though the slip joins the motorway to become the third lane. twats.
if someone is lane hogging slowly in heavy traffic i do sometimes sidle past them on the inside

saintmerryweather Sun 26-May-13 07:33:20

sparkling these people are all busy and important and they need those 5 seconds of extra time that changing lanes will bring them. but then everyone piling into the faster queue only down!

Sirzy Sun 26-May-13 07:33:24

Sparkling - that always amuses me, it's as if they can't stand not being in the fastest moving traffic even if that is only a few seconds at 2 mph

Anifrangapani Sun 26-May-13 07:35:03

I do an early morning motorway commute which is normally free flowing but occasionally there are slow patches caused by middle lane hoggers. Traffic is going along at 70 - 75 mph and then breaks to wait for a gap on the right. Everyone sees the breaklights and breaks which creates a concertina in the traffic behind. As more and more traffic joins the motorway in the slow patches it becomes slower and slower.

My other bugbear is people who pull into the middle lane for no reason when they are going at 50 mph. It is usually as they are comming up to a junction just in case a car is joining the motorway. At that speed by pulling out you make it more difficult for joining traffic.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 26-May-13 07:36:12

The one and only time I have ever flashed at anyone in annoyance was on the motorway- little car doing 50 in the middle lane. They moved back into the left straight away. I know it's aggressive (and I felt bad) but people driving too slowly on motorways have got to be almost as dangerous as people driving too fast. People dont observe the 2 second rule/2 chevrons, so there'll be sudden braking and goodness knows what if you have plodders who really should find alternative routes.

lainiekazan Sun 26-May-13 07:38:38

This winds me up too.

Habitual offenders are old guys in hats driving Honda Civics, and 55-year-old women in building society uniforms in Polos, clutching the wheel like grim death. The latter have probably never filled up with petrol themselves and won't parallel park.

I don't understand why people don't obey the 'keep 2 chevrons apart' thing. I was doing my best but people kept pulling into my gap so to speak. angry

The stationary lane changing was being done solely by male drivers from what I saw, bit like guessing the fastest moving checkout at the supermarket.

SoupDragon Sun 26-May-13 07:42:20

I travel in the left hand lane at 80 if there's no one to overtake.

Do you think that makes you a better driver? You do realise the speed limit is 70 don't you?

SoupDragon Sun 26-May-13 07:46:11

I find it hilarious that someone holds up their own illegal driving as an example of how they drive better than someone else driving illegally.

FlysInDreams Sun 26-May-13 07:47:15

YANBU. The Highway Code says '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 move back to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.'

I know the speed limit I was making a point that which lane you are in does not depend on the speed you are travelling.

CaptainJamesTKirk Sun 26-May-13 07:48:27

Infuriates me more than anything empty first lane except the odd lorry, a jam packed middle lane and a jam packed third lane as everyone tries to overtake the middle lane hoggers!

I think there needs to be an advertising campaign. Adverts on television showing how dangerous it is might make middle lane idiots think twice! That and compulsory motorway lessons!

Oh and the hard shoulder is for emergencies only. Not for people travelling in convoys to stop for a chat, people in camper vans to have a cuppa, or for toddlers to have a wee. hmm

CaptainJamesTKirk Sun 26-May-13 07:51:59

Speaking of flashing as well. I like the German 'rule'... You get flashed it means 'Oih I'm trying to overtake get back in the non overtaking lane, you're going to slow!'. Everyone does it and it's quite effective. Here you flash anyone they're oblivious because they're happily pootling along unaware of the traffic around them.

Circaea Sun 26-May-13 07:52:17

It depends on the circumstances. If I can see cars ahead in the left lane (even far ahead) going slower than me, I'll stay in the middle lane unless I'm clearly impeding the flow of traffic.

Cars should be in the lane doing approximately the same speed as them, which for me is generally the middle unless the road is empty (if it is then I use the left).

More importantly, safe motorway driving means matching your speed to the traffic, NOT doing whatever speed YOU want to do (applies equally to too slow and too fast).

If someone is going slowly in the middle lane I just use the outside lane to overtake them - that's what it's for. Using my indicator, which apparently at least 75% of British drivers can't find.

In the rare cases when the outside lane is full, yes YANBU but the rest of the time just calm down. This kind of raginess about middle lane drivers leads to stupid behaviour - I see people tailgating in the middle lane when the outside lane is empty all the time, it's idiotic.

CaptainJamesTKirk Sun 26-May-13 07:55:47

circ then you're disobeying the highway code! Try reading it. They are overtaking lanes, there is no reason to sit in the middle lane because a car 'far ahead' is in the first lane. You get back in lane and overtake when you reach them.

lainiekazan Sun 26-May-13 08:00:34

I agree that flashing the car in front is useless. Middle-lane hoggers never look in their mirrors. Ever.

QueVes Sun 26-May-13 08:10:20

This motorway incompetence is very annoying although you'd have to say the sort of person who uses mumsnet is often the sort of person who can't drive on the motorway half-decently.

arethereanyleftatall Sun 26-May-13 08:12:25

YANBU. Agree with post on education. There are at least 3 people on this thread, hannabanana, pearly white, and corrects who genuinely don't seem to realise how dangerous it is to remain in middle lane, even if they drive at 70. their obliviousness on the road too, is what makes it so dangerous, totally unaware of traffic around them.

QueVes Sun 26-May-13 08:16:16

I'd also like to know how these people who do exactly 70 measure their speed, since a speedo displaying 70 is more likely to mean you're doing 65.

arethereanyleftatall Sun 26-May-13 08:16:18

Circea not corrects

CrackleMauve Sun 26-May-13 08:23:35

Having driven up the A1 recently, I save my rants for sodding lorry drivers failing to overtake on a 2 lane road for miles and miles. I got them all last time. Sat in the overtaking line at well below the speed limit, neck and neck with each other and a queue of traffic waiting behind.

I'm sure they do it for a laugh as the number of times the lorry in the right hand lane eventually just abandoned the attempt to overtake was ridiculous.

I also like to rage at the fuckers behind in that situation who think tailgating me when I am trying to maintain safe distance is the answer.

Sirzy Sun 26-May-13 08:51:04

It depends on the circumstances. If I can see cars ahead in the left lane (even far ahead) going slower than me, I'll stay in the middle lane

So the highway code doesn't apply to you? It is pretty clear that unless you are overtaking you move back in. if a car is "far ahead" of you then you aren't overtaking so should move back in.

RainbowsFriend Sun 26-May-13 08:55:19

Although I try not to middle lane hog, it sometimes gets really annoying when you are in the inside lane, and then need to overtake and NO BUGGER lets you out angry

After it's happened one too many times on any journey I kind of give up, and only go back into the inside lane unless there's a huuuuge gap. Not great I know, but maybe people should drive with proper gaps and let people out?

saintmerryweather Sun 26-May-13 09:15:21

if youre driving in the middle lane because youre afraid you wont get out, can you not see that youre adding to the problem by clogging up the middle lane? just stick your indicator on and wait, someone will let you out eventually

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 26-May-13 09:41:25

I wonder at that too; insider lane drivers who are too timid to pull out. Indicate - you'll be let out. That's how it works. Some drivers will flash you to let you know they've seen yon, some won't, some will pull out into the third lane to make space for you. I think these drivers don't have much confidence perhaps? Most people know (and abide) by the rules, and they won't collide with you as they will expect you to pull out from an inner lane.

SinisterBuggyMonth Sun 26-May-13 10:03:23

It always amazes me the vitriol reserved for middle lane hoggers on here recently, compaired too undertaking, driving so far up someones arse they can see what they've had for dinner, weaving in and out of lanes without signalling or not letting other drivers in when trying too join the motorwey. I would advise the middle lane drivers too move and let the rest of these Clarkson wannabes speed, weave, undertake and race away until they get it all out of their system.

PearlyWhites Sun 26-May-13 10:04:24

Spotty so you think it is acceptable to speed but not ok to do the speed limit in the middle lane blush

There are some idiots that don't like letting people out though, just ignore the indicators of the person in the inside lane and sail past in the middle lane even though the outside lane is free. Some people have a 'thing' about not letting people in front of them.

Sirzy Sun 26-May-13 10:06:27

If people didn't lane hog then undertaking wouldn't be possible anyway!

PearlyWhites Sun 26-May-13 10:06:51

Arethereany left I am not unaware of other drivers ! I just drive in busy motorways full of lorrys chugging along at 60 with NO GAPS

QueVes Sun 26-May-13 10:08:55

Sinister, the difference is probably that middle lane morons have a way of attempting to justify their crap driving, whereas the others don't tend to bother defending themselves (except perhaps undertaking due to middle lane morons).

PearlyWhites Sun 26-May-13 10:11:32

Am tempted to start my own thread about a thread aibu to drive at 120 in the far right coz of all the idiots driving at the frigging speed limit in the middle lane. Even though there are no gaps in the left lane. Am guessing the consensus would be yanbu they are all twats.

Arethereany left I am not unaware of other drivers ! I just drive in busy motorways full of lorrys chugging along at 60 with NO GAPS

If there are no gaps in the left lane then you are overtaking and are correct to be in the middle lane. The OP is talking about people driving in the middle lane who aren't over taking

I think it doesn't matter what speed you're going you should be in the left hand lane unless over taking.

Also my previous comment should read 'I would drive 80 in the left hand lane' obviously I don't because I'm too busy overtaking middle lane drivers wink

I think it's the minority of idiots who weave, shoot off at exits straight across three lanes and those who don't indicate that make people so nervous of motorways, but if you're that nervous why not just stay in the left hand lane? confused

WMittens Sun 26-May-13 10:23:23

just stick your indicator on and wait, someone will let you out eventually

Indicate - you'll be let out. That's how it works.

Not according to the Highway Code: observation -> signal -> manoeuvre. It is not correct to sit with your indicator on waiting to be let out, as it is unclear to other drivers what you're doing - noticed a gap, waiting for a gap, going to manoeuvre anyway, forgotten to cancel your indicator. I may signal if a car is about to pass or still passing me if I have spotted a gap behind them, but I tend to avoid putting my indicator on while they're still behind as half the time they slam their brakes on.

I don't (always) let someone out just because they've put their indicator on. However, I will check if they're approaching a slower moving vehicle in their lane, or an obvious reason to move further ahead (the aforementioned lorries elephant racing) and be prepared to slow to allow them room.

ShellyBoobs Sun 26-May-13 10:29:33

PearlyWhites (and others) you're getting too hung up on the speed limit, rather than safety.

Middle-lane-hogging is dangerous as well as being something you can be prosecuted for.

Speeding can also be dangerous but it's not as simple as 70mph = safe, 80mph = dangerous.

What's safer, 70mph on a rainy, dark Monday night in the rush hour or 80mph on a bright, dry Sunday morning on a deserted motorway?

Also, why do you think it's up to you to try to stop other people going faster than you think they should?

I'd advise you check how accurate your speedo is before you get all 'road captain' about other peopple's speed. OH downloaded a GPS speed checking app' for his phone and got me to read it for him while he was driving on the motorway recently.

When his speedo was reading exactly 70mph, the GPS showed we were actually doing about 63mph. He had to speed up until the speedo showed 78mph before we were doing a true 70mph.

I assume everyone knows that speedos are inaccurate and they are allowed to read higher than actual speed, but maybe not?

ShellyBoobs Sun 26-May-13 10:32:26

...coz of all the idiots driving at the frigging speed limit in the middle lane. Even though there are no gaps in the left lane. Am guessing the consensus would be yanbu they are all twats.

Where has anyone said that you shouldn't be in the middle lane if there are no gaps in the left-hand lane?


BoneyBackJefferson Sun 26-May-13 10:33:52

"The consensus here seems to be that I am hogging the middle lane. Even if I am doing the national speed limit?"

That would be because you are.

WMittens Sun 26-May-13 10:35:27

Spotty so you think it is acceptable to speed but not ok to do the speed limit in the middle lane

See, I hate this Speed Kills mentality, the blind acceptance that adhering to the speed limit is a magical shield that will prevent anything bad happening to you. Its perpetration has left us with the current crop of drivers who cannot actually make judgements for themselves. If drivers could actively assess the situation they were in all the time they are driving then we would have much safer roads.

Inappropriate speed is bad, no question. It is for the driver to assess and decide what is suitable. 90mph up someone's chuff is bad, but then again so is 40mph - I've seen that plenty on a motorway, a driver behind me so close I can't see their headlights in my rear view.

Then again, 90mph on an empty motorway is not a danger, if car and driver are capable. 90mph on a busy motorway if all vehicles are doing the same speed and maintaining an appropriate gap is still not a significant problem.

Germany and the IoM manage OK with no demands for 50mph limits to be imposed. I wonder what they do differently.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 26-May-13 10:37:45

WMittens, well, having driven in Germany I beg to differ. Not only would you NOT be in the mdidle lane without overtaking (and immediately back in the inner lane), you would find yourself with cars pulling out in front of you without any warning at all. It's YOUR job, in the overtaking lane to watch out for THEM. Different in the UK, perhaps, but you don't generally see massive traffic problems on the Autobahns and that's because everybody follows that rule.

PearlyWhites... I'd find your driving exceedingly selfish - and dangerous. If somebody wants to come out of the left lane, you make it difficult for them to do that for no reason, not being in ownership of the middle lane and all... follow the code or get off the road and nevermind about the speeders, they will get pulled over (or not) but at least they're generally aware of the traffic around them and not impeding the progress of others.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 26-May-13 10:39:04

WMittens, cross-posted with you, mine was to your earlier post. Looks like we share a similar view really.

WMittens Sun 26-May-13 10:40:56

Good post ShellyBoobs, said more reasonable than I can.

On the subject of speedometers, they are allowed to read up to 10% over, but not read under the actual speed you're doing at all. Speedos are not checked as part of an MOT (or any service, to my knowledge) so they could change over the life of the car and not be noticed.

Putting different-sized wheels (or incorrect size of tyres) on can skew the reading as well.

AKAK81 Sun 26-May-13 10:43:54

WM you've hit the nail on the head. Too many drivers these days say things like " I don't speed so I'm a good driver" when they are in fact terrible drivers. The "Speed kills" nonsense is to blame. Its inappropriate use of speed that kills. I'd much rather be travelling slightly above the limit in good conditions whilst totally aware of my surroundings and using correct observation and positioning than be some vacuous blonde pottering along at the limit completely oblivious to everything going on around and thinking about last night's episode of TOWIE

WMittens Sun 26-May-13 10:44:13

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Looks like we share a similar view really.

I think we do; I think from what you say we could learn quite a few lessons from the Continent.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 26-May-13 11:12:51

Driving slowly along the motorway is also dangerous. Those people that drive oblivious at 60mph are not safe either.

If there are no gaps in the left hand lane, because of lorries or whatever, then you are still overtaking. When there's a gap you pull in.

It's the people that sit in the middle lane of an empty motorway that I just fail to understand.

ShellyBoobs Sun 26-May-13 11:18:37

Putting different-sized wheels (or incorrect size of tyres) on can skew the reading as well.

That's a really good point, Mittens.

Also, when your tyres wear from new (about 8mm) to the legal limit, your speedo will be reading over by another 2.5%, or so.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 26-May-13 11:37:39

I am scared by the number of people here who drive on the motorway but don't understand that the middle lane is for overtaking , and as for the poster who asked why you can't did you pass your driving test??!
learn the rules people! Ignorance is what causes accidents.

SinisterBuggyMonth Sun 26-May-13 12:24:14

What worries me is how many think speeding is ok as they seem too think they have honed their driving skills and memorised the highway code sufficiently too regularly break the law in this way. This is why I dont drive on motorways, as soon as you get on there your concentration is distracted from controlling your vehicle to second guessing the actions of other drivers.

"The consensus here seems to be that I am hogging the middle lane. Even if I am doing the national speed limit?"

Yes, you bloody well are! angry

ShellyBoobs Sun 26-May-13 13:29:21

What worries me is how many think speeding is ok...

So, how was the 70mph limit arrived at?

Do you think that 70mph is perfectly safe and 71mph isn't?

WMittens Sun 26-May-13 14:50:43

So, how was the 70mph limit arrived at?

That's really interesting subject as well (for a geek like me, it is).

"The 70 mph National Speed Limit was introduced as a temporary measure in December 1965. It is often blamed on Barbara Castle, but at the time the Minister of Transport was Tom Fraser.

The reason given was a spate of serious accidents in foggy conditions, but it is often claimed that the MoT had been alarmed by AC Cars testing their latest Cobra on the M1 at speeds up to 180 mph.

It was confirmed as a permanent limit in 1967, by which time Barbara Castle (a non-driver) had become Minister of Transport.There was surprisingly little debate at the time: the fact that the average family car of the time could only just exceed 70 mph perhaps had something to do with this."

And from Wiki:
"In 1966, at the end of the four-month trial of a blanket 70 mph (113 km/h) speed limit on previously unrestricted roads and motorways, speed checks on the M6 in Cheshire suggested that although cars were actually being driven about 10 mph (16 km/h) faster, they were still usually travelling at speeds below the new limit. The crash rate was lower on the M6 in Staffordshire (the better weather was noted too) and continued to fall on the M5 in Worcestershire as it had before the new limit was imposed, and there was no change in the crash rate on the M6 in Cheshire or on the M1 in Northamptonshire."

GoofyIsACow Sun 26-May-13 15:01:20

I am amazed by the amount of people on here who don't know the rules of the road shock

As has been said by many many others, keep to the left unless you are overtaking... That is all!

Circaea Sun 26-May-13 15:15:36

I'm amazed by the number of people on here who get genuinely upset by how other people drive on the motorway. Given how the majority of people drive on motorways in my observation, ie doing at least one thing wrong (too fast, too slow, don't indicate when changing lanes, weave in and out of lanes, cut right in front of lorries, use the emergency slip when there's bumper to bumper traffic, tailgate, don't leave enough gap to car in front, don't know how to merge properly when there is a bleed lane, don't move into the outside lane when there is a bleed lane etc etc etc) I find it very hard to believe that you're all saints yourselves.

People who get so angry about middle lane hogging worry me, I'm sure that it leads to some of the dangerous tailgating in the middle lane that I see all the time.

mooface Sun 26-May-13 17:43:31

Sometimes it's necessary to stay in the middle lane for a while, e.g. when there are a lot of slip-roads coming up with traffic wanting to get onto the motorway, it would be more dangerous and slow everybody down to stay in the left-hand lane.

I remember a journey coming down the M1 and some racer-boy idiot who took umbrage at me going 75 down the middle lane, and kept flashing his lights, eventually after about 3 seconds he swerved across three lanes to undertake me on the left, only to nearly crash into a car which was just joining the motorway. Impatience and lack of awareness of your surroundings really is the most scary thing on the roads.

giggly Sun 26-May-13 17:55:33

Really OP the Police in Australia fine you? You have to be kidding, not here on WA because everybody bastardsPolice included joins the freeway and goes into the outside lane straight away, drives me nuts. Then they all sit there until they forget their exit junction and drive straight over 3 bloody lanes. I on the other hand sit in the left lane all lonely and pass them all by quietly. WA drivers are taught by monkeys and that's a factgrin

ShellyBoobs Sun 26-May-13 18:02:00

I've been on the M1 this afternoon taking dd on a god-forsaken shopping trip and by sheer coincidence, some of the overhead warning signs were displaying the message "KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING".

I'd actually forgotten that they put that message up sometimes when there's no other information to show.

I think some people on this thread will still probably disagree and believe that the traffic police and highways agency don't know as much as them about which lane to use.

QueVes Sun 26-May-13 19:14:46

I was on the m1 yesterday and saw that too Shelley. There was also another one that said DON'T HOG THE MIDDLE LANE. Not that it seemed to help, a Skoda with a trailer sat in the middle lane for a good 10 miles ignoring the various large gaps on the left.

As this thread shows middle lane morons all appear to have an excuse for their driving so pointing it out doesn't make any difference.

Lazyjaney Sun 26-May-13 19:29:51

As this thread shows middle lane morons all appear to have an excuse for their driving so pointing it out doesn't make any difference

Worse, they piously believe they are in the right because they are not speeding

Dervel Sun 26-May-13 20:14:59

What exactly are we talking here? If I have several cars in the left hand lane that are going slower than I am and I am moving past them am I lane hogging? I mean I may have the opportunity to indicate and move in left once or twice, only for a few seconds later to have to indicate to pull out again to the middle lane to overtake later, only if some asshole is speeding past I have to wait, and slow down to match the car in front of me before attempting a lane change as well, I often just overtake the traffic on the left until I can pull into the left lane at my desired speed.

I can totally understand people being wound up if I were to sit in the middle lane the whole time (which I don't I will always try to have the left lane for preference at the speed limit) but if I am travelling to the speed limit (and obeying the law), then no other road user who is also obeying the law is ever going to be annoyed with me. I also use an app that displays my actual speed so I'm often doing 75 plus on my car speedo.

Sometimes if I am running late I will speed, but in that case as its on me to make that choice I will never flash other road users, if I am breaking the law I have kind of lost the right to get prissy over other road users habits. That said if someone flashes me I will always endeavour to pull over to the left ASAP, because I do not wish to add to the frustrations and the likelihood of other road users making compromised decisions. Unless they are also tailgating me in which case I will slow down and find the nearest convenient place to pull left, not to irritate mind you but to render the situation safer in the event that I do have to slow rapidly I can give the car behind as much of a chance of avoiding going into the back of me. Though this usually only happens in the fast lane when I'm overtaking middle lane traffic, only not at a speed to the liking of the car behind me.

I also never seem to get flashed in the middle lane, so I was not aware there was much of a problem. The one thing that bugs me in this thread is both sides don't seem cognisant of the fact we all have to share the roads, and I'm not particularly bothered with being in the "right" merely beings as safe as I can, after all I am at the helm of a tonne of metal hurtling at speed. Comparing the situation in other countries is not always helpful, as we have a population density that dwarfs that of a lot of other nations, and our roads have to cater to much more use than in a lot of places.

Bottom line is not everyone will drive the same way as you do, and whilst if you can conjure in your mind how yours is the right way more power to you, me I'll wait to see if anyone corrects me on my assessments and factor that in how I drive from then on. I urge you all to do the same and attempt to muster a modicum of patience with other road users.

ShellyBoobs Sun 26-May-13 20:29:46


What you're describing sounds perfectly correct and is exactly what I would do, too.

If there's a long stream in lane 1 with gaps which you could only pull into for a few seconds, then yes, of course you should continue in lane 2 (or lane 3 if you're passing a stream in lane 2).

No one should be flashing anyone to pull in, or tailgating them, but I don't think that's the type of behaviour people on this thread are talking about.

hopipolla Sun 26-May-13 20:41:24

I do not understand how so many people are so ignorant of how to drive on the motorway, why on earth would think you can just cruise along in a lane designed for overtaking and justify it by saying that you are obeying the speed limit? confused

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 26-May-13 20:57:00

Very well put, dervel.

I was on the motorway today too and was shocked at all the middle lane pootlers, with nobody at all in the left hand lane to be overtaking. The most irritating/dangerous was a man driving at about 55 mph. Oh, and the man in an old fiesta who was weaving in and out really close to other drivers, myself included. Grr!

I got stuck behind 2 right hand lane hoggers for miles today. The left and middle lanes were empty!
I was tempted to undertake in the deserted left hand lane, but didn't. Eventually they pulled over and DH noticed the driver of the second car was texting! shock

badbride Mon 27-May-13 21:54:15

I've always been a bit confused as to why undertaking is always a bad thing. Pulling in to the inside line specifically to undertake someone in the middle lane is clearly dangerous.

But what if the traffic in the inside lane happens to be doing 70, but the traffic in the middle is doing 50? If I'm in the inside lane and can't pull out (on account of middle lane being hogged by plonkers), what am I supposed to do? Surely I'd create more of a problem if I slowed to a crawl than if I just followed the traffic flow?

From a safety point of view, is there an issue with undertaking from the left lane if the middle lane is empty and the person you are undertaking is in the right lane? I know it's not allowed in the Highway Code but can't see that it would actually be unsafe.

MrsMook Mon 27-May-13 22:53:42

There are more blind spots to the left because of the driver position to the right. Also you are less likely to be expected to be undertaking because it is not legal.

I had lessons on the motorway when I did Pass Plus which were rather useful. I was advised to pull in when I can see the overtaken vehicle in my rear view mirror as that means they have been left with an appropriate stopping distance. I get hacked off when I'm about to indicate that I'm moving left into the gap to find that some moron (who doesn't understand the stopping distance concept given their proximity to my rear bumper) objects to the fact I've not pulled in within 6 inches of clearing the overtaken vehicle, is now undertaking me and preventing me from doing the correct action of pulling in.

On a busy motorway, I find it less stressy doing 60-70 in lanes 1-2 with a decent stopping distance than joining the line doing 80 bumper to bumper in lane 3. If people followed the keep left rule, it would save traffic bunching up so much.

justabigdisco Wed 05-Jun-13 03:51:04

Just thought I'd re-invigorate this thread with this article
Also to point out that the speed is really irrelevant. If you're not overtaking something, MOVE OVER.

justabigdisco Wed 05-Jun-13 12:38:50

Perhaps I'd have got more response had I not posted in the middle of the night... Damn insomnia shock

PinkyCheesy Wed 05-Jun-13 12:54:37

And I'd like to add that it is NOT ILLEGAL to drive at 70 in the left hand lane and be passing drivers going slower than you in the middle lane! This is NOT undertaking! The highway code says that if an adjacent lane to your right is travelling slower than you, then you may pass. Which means you DONT have to do 4 changing of lane manoevers, as described by several posters. Undertaking is when you are behind a slower driver and pull in to the left in order to pass him.

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 05-Jun-13 13:25:11

Thanks, Pinky; I was about to go and look up that rule, because I thought I might have misremembered it.

WineNot Wed 05-Jun-13 13:45:52

Pinky - is that right?

The Highway Codes says "stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left"

i.e. you can pass on the left but only if you're in a queue and the left hand lane is moving more quickly.

Begs the question - what defines a 'queue' and is there a speed above which you're not in a queue, but undertaking.

tobiasfunke Wed 05-Jun-13 13:55:59

We've just driven down to Portsmouth from Scotland and back again. On the way down during the day the lane discipline was pretty good although the motorways were busy. On the way back from Portsmouth to Birmingham on a Saturday evening it was absolutely atrocious. Fewer cars but much much worse driving. The number of middle lane hoggers going at 60 was unbelieveable. By that I mean people sitting in the middle lane when the inside lane was completely free. Lorries and caravans undertaking the said same middle lane hoggers.
We also saw at least 5 near misses of people nearly colliding when one pulled out from middle lane to fast lane and the fast lane driver was pulling in. Nobody seemed aware of anyone else.
DH and I were discussing it and we came to the conclusion that it was people who'd been down to the coast on a sunny day and pootling home who weren't usually motorway drivers.

lljkk Wed 05-Jun-13 14:32:57

Don't even have a concept of undertaking where I come from.
Middle Lane drivers don't annoy me.
Tailgaters do annoy me.

lljkk Wed 05-Jun-13 14:33:37

I am pretty sure that when it comes to it, most people define "Middle Lane drivers" as anyone who slows you down, for any reason.

SonOfAradia Wed 05-Jun-13 15:38:49

I am pretty sure that when it comes to it, most people define "Middle Lane drivers" as anyone who slows you down, for any reason.

No. Middle Lane drivers' are people who drive in the middle lane when they're not overtaking, when the Highway Code makes it abundantly clear that they should stay in the left lane.


lljkk Wed 05-Jun-13 16:25:49

How about this scenario,
in left lane, approach lorry
overtake lorry, allow for 2" gap to develop in front of lorry
pull into left lane for 2"
now right behind lorry2
use middle lane to over take lorry2, allow next 2" gap to develop
pull into left lane for 2" have now approached lorry 3
repeat as above

At what point do we say it's silly to keep pulling in for just two seconds each time, therefore it's reasonable to just stay in middle lane? I think some people expect every driver to pull over for those 2" stints in the far left lane every single time, and other people deem it silly. Hence, "the middle lane driver" is defacto any driver perceived to be in the way.

FobblyWoof Wed 05-Jun-13 16:35:30

YANBU at all!

These are the same people who accuse people who use the lanes correctly of weaving. No, it's just if yore in the middle sodding lane of course I have to change two lanes to overtake you and two lanes to get back to the slow lane!

It holds everyone up and forces a lot of other people into the middle lane because you don't want to overtake!

SonOfAradia Wed 05-Jun-13 17:12:28

At what point do we say it's silly to keep pulling in for just two seconds each time, therefore it's reasonable to just stay in middle lane?

I would be extremely silly to keep pulling over for 2 seconds and keep diving in and out of a stream of lorries.

If there's a stream of lorries that close together, then your overtaking manoeuvre includes the whole lot and it's reasonable to be in the middle lans to accomplish said manoeuvre. Anyone going faster than you can use the outside lane to go round you. Only a bellend with no patience and no driving skills themselves would expect you to pull in for 2 seconds and can be safely ignored.

Once you're past the lorry stream, go back into the left hand lane. If the lorry stream extends for 30 miles, then you're still overtaking it by dint of the fact you're going faster. Simple.

cherryade8 Wed 05-Jun-13 19:32:45

Hooray I've just seen in the news today that middle lane drivers who are not overtaking anyone will get an on the spot fine and three points on their licence grin

Madeleine10 Wed 05-Jun-13 22:02:13

Excellent news!

And tailgaters too - someone's been reading Mumsnet wink

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