Slow Motorway Driving

(167 Posts)
allmycats Tue 22-Apr-14 14:23:34

AIBU to think that if you are driving on the motorway and you are passed by me towing our caravan - bearing in mind that whilst towing said caravan I am restricted to 60mph then you are going too slow. I am getting truly cross with the number of people driving in the slow lane at speeds of circa 50mph - whilst I appreciate that speed limits are not target speeds you need to drive in a manner that is safe and going too slow is just as bad as going too fast. me and my caravan do not like being in the middle lane, causing inconvenience for those behind me when you are simply driving like a tosser in the inside lane at 45-50mph - Rant Over !!

You'd have loved the lady in the blue Yaris doing 25 mph (I kid you not)

The traffic was tailing back, until they overtook, then once I got past the car in question......she was casually pedalling along shock honestly she'd have been quicker walking.
(I did wonder if her car was on the blink but she made no attempt to get off the motorway)

Thomyorke Tue 22-Apr-14 14:31:25

That if you can get in the middle lane, once I am down to below 40 my little car has not got the power to get into the middle lane with enough pull off power to be safe so I am sat behind them also looking like a tosser or a tosser making a car in the middle lane brake. Luckily do not use motorway often hence little car or I use DPs.

Sunshineonsea Tue 22-Apr-14 14:33:46

Oh this drives me insane! Along with people who stay in the middle lane when there is space for them to move in to inside lane, more often than not you see a dozen or so cars in the outside lane trying
To get past said car and there's usually some idiot who can't wait an is up everyone's arses

SomethingAboutNothing Tue 22-Apr-14 14:36:36

YANBU driving that slowly is more dangerous than speeding at 80mph in my opinion.

Sunshineonsea Tue 22-Apr-14 14:36:39

Also can you tell I hate motorway drivers when you are in inside lane and are approaching a slower vehicle, you look to pull out and person in middle lane just stays there instead of moving to outside lane so that I can safely move past slow moving vehicle
I've got the rage now!

yoshipoppet Tue 22-Apr-14 14:36:42

Speeds of about 50 mph - some vehicles cannot go much faster than that. Some have limiters on them to prevent them going faster.

Yanbu. This bank holiday I have got so fed up of stupid drivers. There was the stupid man doing 50mph in the middle lane of the motorway shock and the man who decided to join a 60mph road by going down the slip road at 25mph and never getting above 50mph once on the road. Not to mention the bloke who pulled in front of me without indicating, the guy who swung his van into a 40mph road while trying to re park and the person who drove so slowly between 2 roundabouts on dual carriageway that I didn't get above 3rd gear.

Sunshineonsea Tue 22-Apr-14 14:37:11

Oh and YA definitely NBU

LadyVetinari Tue 22-Apr-14 14:37:59

I've always thought of 55/56 as the minimum appropriate speed for the left-hand lane in normal conditions, and it never bothers me when people drive at around that speed. Lorries are limited to 56, and inexperienced or under-confident motorway drivers may well be safer "convoying" with them than trying to overtake, at least until their skills are stronger.

Do you think that's still too slow?

PansBigChainring Tue 22-Apr-14 14:38:04

I drive about 50mph on inside lane, usually. If you want to overtake me, the Highways Agency have provided such a lane for you.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 22-Apr-14 14:38:58

YANBU I feel ragey just thinking about it

allmycats Tue 22-Apr-14 14:39:48

Yes Yoshipoppet I know that some vehicles have restricters on them, usually great huge lorries restricted to 56mph - I am talking about ordinary cars.

MelonadeAgain Tue 22-Apr-14 14:43:57

YANBU. I drive a horsebox electronically limited to 56mph. Its noticeable that when driving it on a Sunday I have to overtake quite a few really slow moving cars. Going noticeably slower than 56mph. I would estimate 45-50mph. On the motorway. When I glance across at them, the driver is invariably texting, or elderly and confused looking, or elderly and gossiping animatedly with front seat passenger.

I honestly would rather not overtake at all. Especially if its windy. And it also holds up other vehicles. But when a car is going so slowly, I'm not going to sit and follow it while it drifts about randomly between 45 and 55mph.

Worse still are the ones who wake up when they realise they are being overtaken by a horsebox and then speed up so as to undertake you, before you complete your overtaking manoeuvure.

There has to be more recognition that motorways are for fast driving and you need to be aware that other drivers will be going fast. I had to sit a test to drive my horsebox, why not make everyone driving on a motorway sit a test before doing so, so we don't have to put up with this idiocy?

I don't mind people driving a bit slower than the limit, very slow can be scary as I can't help wondering what other exceptional behaviour they might have.

But my absolute pet hate is a lorry who is travelling at 56mph deciding that he must overtake the lorry travelling at 55.5mph - causing them both to block two lanes for mile after mile while the marginally faster lorry slowly crawls past the slower lorry. Worthy of a ban IMO.

RCheshire Tue 22-Apr-14 14:45:56

I failed my first driving test attempt for doing 38mph in a 50.

Wabbitty Tue 22-Apr-14 14:46:21

Lorries above 7.5 tonnes are limited to 60.
50 is a ridiculous speed for cars to be doing on a motorway.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 22-Apr-14 14:46:47

I've been wondering where to vent my motorway rage so I may as well do it here.

Over the weekend we had someone try to undertake us instead of just moving to the outside lane to get around us. The reason we were in the middle lane was because we were passing lorries so there really wasn't room to undertake. Lo and behold they ran out of room so they just moved out into the middle lane which forced us to slow down or be run off the road.

Then on the way home, on a motorway with only two lanes and again we were passing lorries. When we managed to move over again the twat who had been tailgating us immediately also moved over and braked, causing us to brake sharply too. Luckily dh anticipated what he would do and managed to break early.

But still, why do people feel it's ok to literally try and cause a crash and intimidate people? My 3 year old was in the car both times. Why would they want to do that to someone? We weren't doing 50 and holding everyone up, we were doing the speed limit. It just clearly wasn't fast enough for some who decided attempting to kill us is the better option.

Nowitscleanugobshite Tue 22-Apr-14 14:47:58

My daughter has no choice! We live in NI and for the first year after passing the driving test an R (restricted) plate must be displayed. Maximum speed is 45mph. She needs to drive on a very busy motorway (at one point its actually 2 motorways running side by side) to get to/from uni and it's a scary thought!!

MelonadeAgain Tue 22-Apr-14 14:50:44

Pourquoi were you moving back into the left hand lane after overtaking the lorries, or staying in the middle lane because there was another lorry somewhere in the distance? If it keeps happening to you, its possible that your observation and lane awareness are at fault.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 22-Apr-14 14:55:33

We were moving back when there was room to move back without immediately having to go from 70 to 50 only to have to move back out again within seconds.

I still don't understand how that is an excuse for someone to attempt to cause us to crash.

angelos02 Tue 22-Apr-14 14:56:54

melonadeagain I was thinking that. If Pourqui was overtaking a lorry immediately to her left, it wouldn't be possible for a car to undertake.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 22-Apr-14 14:57:56

It wasn't possible for him to undertake, that's why he pulled out to force us to move over and slow down or he would have hit the side of our car.

wowfudge Tue 22-Apr-14 14:58:18

I know - it's annoying isn't it? My bugbear is the dozy sod in the middle lane, when there is no one in lane one, apart from me and I'm driving faster than Middle Lane Charlie. So I indicate to change lanes, moving behind MLC then I indicate to pull into the inside lane and, as I am overtaking, MLC suddenly discovers the accelerator. But still doesn't move into lane 1. My observation is that 9 times out of 10 it seems MLCs are male drivers who don't want to be overtaken by a woman.

I've often thought that the gantry signs on motorways should have some sort of message about lane discipline/moving over if you are not overtaking. When they are not being used to tell you about an incident up ahead, etc. of course.

SuddenlySqueamish Tue 22-Apr-14 14:58:21

I don't drive often, but when I do, I opt for economy not speed. Studies have shown that going a slower, steady speed is much better for fuel economy, emissions, and also for reducing congestion. If everybody went slower, there wouldn't be so much of the bunching up that causes traffic jams.

Completely agree with Pans - you've been kindly provided with two over-taking lanes if you wish to go faster than the person in front.

PansBigChainring Tue 22-Apr-14 15:00:24

Same reasons as me Suddenly - I can happily drive at 70, and sometimes a bit more...but usually not so. 50'ish is fine for all your good reasons.

Collaborate Tue 22-Apr-14 15:04:33

Can I add to the discussion drivers who fail to use the slip road when joining a motorway as an opportunity to increase your speed to match the prevailing speed of the mway? Often I've been stuck behind someone doing 45-50, assuming traffic on the mway will part for them like the Red Sea, and only after they've joined the motorway will they think to increase their speed to 70. Incredibly dangerous.

allmycats Tue 22-Apr-14 15:06:54

Can I point out that when towing I do not have the choice of 2 other lanes to overtake in, I am not allowed into the third lane, so can only use lanes 1 and 2.

MelonadeAgain Tue 22-Apr-14 15:09:12

I don't drive often, but when I do, I opt for economy not speed

Why use a motorway then? Motorways are designed for fast driving. What are you doing on there if you want to drive so slow?

bigdog888 Tue 22-Apr-14 15:21:17

As others have said it's driving slower than trucks that causes issues. Stick at an indicated 55-60 and you won't be causing trucks to overtake you really slowly. When there are trucks overtaking slightly slower vehicles (including other trucks) with a very small speed differential then you effectively get a 3 lane road reduced to 1 which causes congestion.

SuddenlySqueamish Tue 22-Apr-14 15:22:12

Motorways aren't designed for fast driving, they're designed for getting lots of people across large distances efficiently.

You choose to tow a vehicle, other people choose not to drive at top speeds. Your choice affects others as much as others' affects you. It's part of living in society.

MelonadeAgain Tue 22-Apr-14 15:28:25

Of course they're designed for fast driving!

If I wanted to drive at 50mph in a car, the last place I'd head is a motorway.

I don't tow, I drive a lorry electronically limited to 56mph and I still find myself having to pass very slow drivers on motorways. I still take a lot of care not to hold up other drivers wishing to go fast. Because its a motorway! It really drives home to you just how ridiculously slow some people drive on motorways, and I really doubt it is due to any environmental concerns, but mostly due to lack of competence, awareness and concentration.

ivykaty44 Tue 22-Apr-14 15:30:43

we had an incident at the weekend where a driving using the slip road didn't look and just came down the slip road to the end and went onto the inside lane - regardless of the traffic already in the inside and middle lane - it was awful - instead of filtering into the traffic he treated it as if everyone should get out of the way - old man in a large car. next time though it maybe a lorry that he encounters and it would possibly kill him.

his attitude was to join n the tooting

apparently though according to the papers this weekend they did a study in australia and the worst offenders are young woman in their twenties

magpiegin Tue 22-Apr-14 15:31:05

I agree with others. I commute by motorway every day and the drivers going 50 are much more likely to cause an accident then the ones going 80/90. My opinion is that if you are too nervous/ cautious to keep up with lorries then stay on A roads.

Bowlersarm Tue 22-Apr-14 15:33:01

Of course they're designed for fast driving

I don't think that's the case at all. They are designed to move vehicles smoothly round the country.

Can someone post a link which says you aren't allowed to drive as slowly as 50 on a motorway? I can't find one.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Apr-14 15:33:53

I have a really fast car, and I still rarely drive over 65mph when cruising. I use my car's power to overtake quickly then get right back in the slow lane. Aggressive drivers are the most dangerous drivers on the road. Who cares if someone is slow, there is room for everyone.

I hope my newly driving 18yo doesn't get intimidated enough by people who have no empathy and no patience into making a potentially panicky and fatal mistake on the motorways.

MelonadeAgain Tue 22-Apr-14 15:35:09

Motorways aren't designed for fast driving.

I've heard it all now!

Can I ask the slow motorway drivers what sort of speed they would drive on a twisting country road, where they are likely to meet horseriders and cyclists?

Grennie Tue 22-Apr-14 15:36:01

I agreed to car share to a training day with a colleague. We went in her car. But I hadn't realised that all of her motorway driving would be between the speeds of 45 - 55 miles an hour. I was pretty embarassed.

SuddenlySqueamish Tue 22-Apr-14 15:36:29

There are people driving with a lack of competence, awareness, and concentration on all roads. I'd like those people off roads and out of vehicles entirely!

My point is only that some people still want to get to places efficiently without going at 70mph and for long, cross-country distances, that way is the motorway.

However I will concede that, rather than slowness, a lack of courtesy I do find annoying. If you're able to let somebody pass when you're going slow, do so. My main method of transport is a bike (obviously not on the motorway!) and I take the lane when it's safest to do so but when an opportunity arises to tuck in and let everybody capable of going faster do so, then I take it. Also gives my legs a breather!

Bowlersarm Tue 22-Apr-14 15:37:31

Can you post me a link about 50 mph being an illegal slow lane motorway speed, please Melonade?

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 22-Apr-14 15:37:42

Exactly anyfucker. I passed my test in October and I'm so glad it was dh driving when those two incidents occurred as he is more experienced than I am.

I just don't understand the mentality of wanting to hurt someone because they annoyed you when driving, no matter who was in the right or wrong.

uselessidiot Tue 22-Apr-14 15:38:32

YANBU entirely U but I've been getting really annoyed with the people I've come across driving at 30-40 in the middle lane. They even seem to look confused when someone moves across 3 lanes to pass. Wonder if they'd twig if the found their rear view mirror and saw the congestion they were causing.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Apr-14 15:40:26

Where I live, it is motorway-bound. It is fairly impossible to get to certain places without at least using some stretch of motorway. So, using the argument "keep off them if you can't do 80mph with the Big Boys like wot I do" doesn't work for me.

MelonadeAgain Tue 22-Apr-14 15:40:36

Can you post me a link about 50 mph being an illegal slow lane motorway speed, please Melonade?

Why? Did I say it was illegal?

Why don't you do some research into how learning safe and competent motorway driving, before you venture out onto one, is a good idea?

By the way, there is no such thing as a "slow lane". There are no "slow lanes" on any motorways. There are inside lanes (where everyone should be if not overtaking) and overtaking lanes. There is no such thing as a "lorry lane" either.

angelos02 Tue 22-Apr-14 15:42:12

It annoys me when people associate slow speeds with the lane on the left. You can do 70 in that lane if the lane is clear ahead of you.

Raskova Tue 22-Apr-14 15:42:28

The speed limit is a target not a limit. If you fail to reach the limit, you will fail your driving test.

I had to drive approx five hours yesterday on various motorways and the terrible driving/slow/middle lane hogging is ridiculous.


bigdog888 Tue 22-Apr-14 15:42:48

AnyFucker there is no such think as a 'slow' lane or a 'fast' lane for that matter. There are simly lanes 1,2,3 etc - I think people using this incorrect terminology just compounds some of the issues we have on our motorways. What are you driving btw?

AnyFucker Tue 22-Apr-14 15:42:58

My apologies. "Left lane" is what I meant (showing my age here)

My understanding was that drivers should not inhibit the flow of the rest of the traffic (assuming that the other drivers are going at legal speeds), if you are causing other traffic to take evasive action to avoid you (which is risky) because you can't/won't match the prevailing speeds then I believe you may be prosecuted for driving without reasonable consideration.

I suspect that 50mph on a motorway would be unlikely to be slow enough for you to become a danger to other users.

magpiegin Tue 22-Apr-14 15:44:12

When the flow of traffic is moving 60-70mph and there is one driver going 50 it is really dangerous. It causes HGVs to have to pull out into the middle lane and others to have to brake when they can't pull out. Makes me wonder if these drivers who happily drive 50mph on a motorway actually look in their mirrors to see the chaos behind them?

MelonadeAgain Tue 22-Apr-14 15:46:05

Presumably a number of them will be terribly surprised to learn that other drivers expect traffic to be going fast magpiepin, what with it being a motorway and all!

Bowlersarm Tue 22-Apr-14 15:47:12

Are you always this aggressive when you are driving your lorry Melonade? I hope not.

Anyway, I'm with Anyfucker, Aggressive drivers are the most dangerous.

You should drive at the speed you are most comfortable with to do it safely for yourself and everyone around you. And unless anyone can say categorically that it is not legal to drive at 50 in the left hand lane, then they should mind their own business about people driving around that speed and less slowly than they want them to.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Apr-14 15:47:16

You don't need to know the car I drive, bigdog. You are likely to say it is wasted on me smile

jamdonut Tue 22-Apr-14 15:49:17

I don't get to motorway drive very often these days (nearest is over 40 miles away), so I am always a little nervous to begin with when joining a motorway,and it sometimes takes me a little while to get used to the road and conditions,so sometimes I'm only doing 55 - 60 mph. I also worry obout the stupid things other people do.I find motorway driving stressful, but I have to do it if I want to get places quickly,and especially as my DH doesn't drive.

When driving to Manchester,(from east yorks),the speed limit on the motorway is set at 50 for a good many miles,due to roadworks and " traffic management". It would work well I f it wasn't for the people who are so impatient and weave in and out causing people to break suddenly and cause a ripple effect in the traffic behind them.

TalkShowHost Tue 22-Apr-14 15:49:27

"The speed limit is a target not a limit" - why is it not called the National Speed Target then?

Raskova Tue 22-Apr-14 15:53:09

Because it's also a limit. Ask the Highway Code! Or a driving instructor.

I tell you no lies... grin

Raskova Tue 22-Apr-14 15:53:34

I'll rephrase. The speed limit is also a target... wink

MelonadeAgain Tue 22-Apr-14 15:54:23

I'm not in the least bit an aggressive driver Bowlersarm. But I am an observant one. And its surprising what you see when you are trained to look far ahead while motorway driving.

I agree with the proposition that very slow drivers on motorways tend to be more incompetent and also tend to cause problems for more competent drivers, and I'm sorry but that is not only mine, but everyone else's business. Especially when I'm having to take avoiding action due to them.

If you had any training in motorway driving, you would have been taught that not only do you have to look further ahead and have better anticipation because of the higher speeds, but you also need to think about the impact your own driving has on other drivers, and the likelihood of a collision, due to higher speeds.

RiverTam Tue 22-Apr-14 15:54:31

chug along at 50 in the slow lane if you like, but make sure you speed up and get out of the slow lane when approaching a slip road where cars are entering the slow lane of the motorway, otherwise you will be causing one hell of an accident.

And if the motorway is busy, as it would be over the Easter weekend, you need to respond to the conditions and probably speed up, else there won't be enough room for everyone.

Aggressive drivers are indeed dangerous, but so are timid ones. I actually think that motorway driving with an instructor should be mandatory before being let loose.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Apr-14 15:55:27

I agree with that, Tam.

specialsubject Tue 22-Apr-14 15:57:09

if it is raining hard (as it has been today) then even 50 can be way too fast. Speed limits are maxima, not targets.

please share where you get your free petrol as you clearly have plenty to waste.

25mph is too slow on a clear dry motorway, and anyone using a mobile phone while driving should have both feet amputated.

Girlwithnotattoos Tue 22-Apr-14 15:57:55

Oooo I love a scrap about driving! So here I go with my tuppence worth.

Motorways are most definitely designed to be driven on at speed, that's why there are no. Traffic lights, roundabouts, right turns etc basically anything that might slow down or inhibit the free flow of traffic. You have an acceleration lane to allow you to get your speed up to match the motorway traffic because it's dangerous to suddenly join 70mph traffic at anything much below this. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not aware of the rules of the road. Obviously there will be exceptions for instance if your joining where the motorway is congested but you should match your speed to others on the road. Tbh I think that if your car is not capable or the driver is not confident of driving at speed they have no place being in the motorway and should stick to other roads.

PunkrockerGirl Tue 22-Apr-14 15:58:48

I agree with you wowfudge Gives me the absolute rage angry

pointythings Tue 22-Apr-14 15:59:02

Holland effectively has a minimum speed limit - you aren't allowed on the motorway if your vehicle can't do 40 mph. That means at least slow-moving agricultural vehicles are banned, which is a good thing.

If lorries are frequently overtaking you on the motorway then you are not adapting to the rest of the traffic, and therefore you are driving badly. (Obviously there are idiot lorry drivers, like the one who flew past me at 50mph in a howling blizzard and without his lights on - but the vast, vast majority are not like that).

plecofjustice Tue 22-Apr-14 15:59:03

Not the same, but I did get slightly irritated with the sweet European driver earlier today who clearly got MPH and KPH confused, and ended up with us all doing a stately 25 behind him in a single carriage 40 zone.

Raskova Tue 22-Apr-14 16:06:08

Girl with no tattoos you say it perfectly grin

unlucky83 Tue 22-Apr-14 16:07:06

Quote from AA eco driving tips...
Stick to speed limits: the faster you go the greater the fuel consumption and pollution. Driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Cruising at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.
Motorways are designed to be simple routes to travel long distances not 'fast driving'...
Slip roads are for filtering into the traffic - so speeding up on slip roads is all well and good but remember you need to give way at the bottom -if need be actually should be gradually adjusting your speed to the flow of traffic - not getting up to 70mph as fast as you can in the hope that someone slows down or moves into the middle lane to let you in - that is not good driving...
(My personal bug bears are cars that stick to the inside lane like glue. So quiet motorway, car speeds down inside lane at 90mph comes too close at the back as you drive at 70mph, swings out and back right in front of you - not leaving you enough stopping distance and in the case of rain blinding you with spray - and I am sure they think they are fantastic drivers because they aren't hogging the middle lane.
And if you pull out into the middle lane to let a car in from the slip road, said car then should let you pull back in - but often they just concentrate on speeding up as fast as possible -in the process overtaking you on the inside)
I don't middle lane hog - but I judge the road - if it is quiet and I can see a lorry in the distance and there is no- one behind me I will stay in the middle lane -if someone does come up behind me I will pull in ...
The worst drivers aren't the ones that are going slowly - they are the ones that zig zag in and out of lanes - don't do gradual lane changing - give no more than a glance before pulling out/in - therein lies an accident - better to look twice, indicate and then gradually change lanes...

These threads always horrify me - the things people think are good driving that are anything but....

mercibucket Tue 22-Apr-14 16:10:50
BitOutOfPractice Tue 22-Apr-14 16:11:18

"You should drive at the speed you are most comfortable with"

Bowlersarm that is simply not true. You should drive at a speed that is appropriate for the road conditions, traffic conditions, weather conditions. If you are not comfortavle driving at that approprite speed, then you shouldn't be on the road.

Also: Although there is no minimum speed limit on the majority of UK roads, you can still be fined for driving too slow if it is seen that you are a hazard to other road users. There is no specific penalty for driving too slowly and as such, penalties may be as little as a verbal warning by a police officer along with a lecture of the dangers of driving too slow and in more serious cases, a motorist may find themselves in court charged with driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users

From [[ this site]

Driving through a puddle and splashing pedestrians can also lead to a charge of driving without reasonable consideration. Which is interesting.

mercibucket Tue 22-Apr-14 16:14:58

quite a few people stopped doing 40 in a 60 zone so sounds like 50 is minimally acceptable although it is selfish if you could be going at 55 and not making lorries long-overtake you (weather conditions etc permitting)

Bowlersarm Tue 22-Apr-14 16:15:30

I think it is true BitOutOf

I'm not necessarily a slow driver myself, but I wouldn't want to be driving amongst other drivers who drive too fast for their own comfort in charge of a bloody great car/lorry/caravan and turning it into a lethal weopan capable of killing any amount of people.

mercibucket Tue 22-Apr-14 16:15:51

sorry, meant to say '50 is minimally acceptable in motorways'

moggle Tue 22-Apr-14 16:16:13

Two years ago I overtook someone driving at about 40 mph on a motorway, and when I looked over, it was an elderly gentleman with a ginger cat on his lap, sitting up looking through the steering wheel at the road in front. confused

mercibucket Tue 22-Apr-14 16:16:31

grin moggle

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 22-Apr-14 16:17:38

I do think driving slowly on the motorway is dangerous, it can cause other people behind you to brake suddenly and it makes lorries over take you causing a jam on the other lanes. Surely you have to adapt to the traffic and road you are on?

I hate middle lane drivers. The ones that cruise along oblivious to anything and anyone and making people pull out into the 3rd lane to get past them on an empty road.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 22-Apr-14 16:20:50

I think you're coming at this the wrong way. Drivers doing 70mph on a clear, dry, daytime motorway aren't driving "too fast". Nor are they uncomfortable with the speed they are doing (I imagine, for the most part). It isn't them going too fast, it's the people driving at 50mph on a clear dry open motorway that are driving too slow for the conditions.

You should assess the conditions on a minute by minute basis and if you (generic you, not you you!) aren't comfortable driving at a speed that is approriate for the conditions, then you shouldn't be driving on thay road!

tallulah Tue 22-Apr-14 16:23:51

My particular bugbear is those who sit in the outside lane doing 60 - 65mph. You follow them forever and they won't pull over or speed up, resulting in all the people behind you pulling into the middle lane to undertake. Then they finally get the idea and pull over, and speed up to 80 angry.

Probably 99% of the drivers that do this are female, and it's on the increase sad

SuddenlySqueamish Tue 22-Apr-14 16:26:48

If you need to brake suddenly because somebody in front is going slower, you're going far too fast and not paying enough attention!

PansBigChainring Tue 22-Apr-14 16:30:07

I agree with others. I commute by motorway every day and the drivers going 50 are much more likely to cause an accident then the ones going 80/90. My opinion is that if you are too nervous/ cautious to keep up with lorries then stay on A roads
This rubbish sums it up nicely. Accidents are caused by people driving too fast, not sure where they are going, not allowing for road/traffic conditions. or poor observational skills. Nobody ever who drives at 50'ish takes over the mind of a 'speedster' and makes them a poor driver- they do that themselves. My opinion is that if you can't handle the fact that other people drive at speeds differing to yours then you should examine if you are fit to be on any road at all.

RiverTam Tue 22-Apr-14 16:34:49

same could be said of middle lane hoggers who fail to notice cars coming up behind them and overtaking them - if there's a queue of cars behind you you are almost certainly in the wrong lane!

generally I find that slower drivers are far less aware of the road conditions and what is going on around them, than a confidence fast driver who can at least respond to changes in conditions.

PansBigChainring Tue 22-Apr-14 16:38:31

We seem to be making a sole connection between driving at 50'ish, and confidence, or being timid, which isn't true. Lots of us drive at 50'ish for the good reasons already stated by Suddenly. I can speed along at 70 plus no bother, but it's stupid to. So I don't.

Raskova Tue 22-Apr-14 17:35:34

Pans, if it was stupid to speed along at 70, they wouldn't set that as the national speed limit for appropriate roads now. Would they?! hmm

IndridCold Tue 22-Apr-14 17:43:09

But my absolute pet hate is a lorry who is travelling at 56mph deciding that he must overtake the lorry travelling at 55.5mph - causing them both to block two lanes for mile after mile while the marginally faster lorry slowly crawls past the slower lorry. Worthy of a ban IMO.


FreudiansSlipper Tue 22-Apr-14 17:47:23


if you are not confident enough to drive at the speed you should be driving on a motorway (given conditions) then you should not be driving on a motorway

and likely that you should not be driving at all

VivaLeBeaver Tue 22-Apr-14 17:47:40

Well I won't tow at60mph. So am in slow lane between 50mph and 50mph.

BellaVita Tue 22-Apr-14 17:51:54


Mrsmorton Tue 22-Apr-14 18:07:00

If the speed limited lorries are overtaking you, you are going too slowly. Their limiters are more accurate than a standard speedo which legally can over read your speed by 10%. If you think you're doing 50, you may be doing only 45 and if lorries are chugging past you and you feel like everyone thinks you're Piers Morgan hates you, you need to speed up.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Apr-14 18:12:20

What has Piers Morgan to do with this ? grin

Mrsmorton Tue 22-Apr-14 18:17:40

Erm, everyone thinks he's a cunt?

AnyFucker Tue 22-Apr-14 18:21:18

I bet he is a brilliant driver, though ? wink

mrssmith79 Tue 22-Apr-14 18:26:44

It's amazing how many people lose the power of effective acceleration when faced with a long, straight, well maintained road where all vehicles are travelling in the same direction. YANBU.

I think that people in general do not appreciate that the only person's driving you are responsible for is your own. As you join a motorway it's your job to join safely, not other people's to make way for you. Likewise as you bomb along at 85 it remains your responsibility to keep your distance, anticipate and look ahead and move safely between lanes. People driving at 50 (or 40 or 90) are not responsible for your decision making. If you can't cope with encountering different speeds of vehicle then it's you who shouldn't be on the road. And I say that as somebody who does a steady 70 95% of the time.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 22-Apr-14 18:30:23


Fine chug along at 50mph if you really the inside lane. Not for the love of god in the middle lane!

I drive at 70mph unless traffic/weather dictate otherwise but I have an ever so fuel efficient little car grin.

I often see people who are very obviously driving under 50mph very possibly under 50mph. These people are almost always elderly. And female.

Men tend to be bad drivers in the sense that they're aggressive, women tend to be bad insofar as they're oblivious to all other road users.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 22-Apr-14 18:31:02

*ahem, second 50mph was definitely meant to be 40mph.

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 22-Apr-14 18:38:36

I find it amusing that "slow" drivers are seen as "timid".

The most aggressive driver I know drives everywhere at 40 mph, (and I do mean everywhere) doesn't indicate and will enter a motor way and move in to the middle lane of a motorway at a moments notice with out a care for other road users.

I will not under any circumstance ride in her car.

PansBigChainring Tue 22-Apr-14 18:42:02

Pans, if it was stupid to speed along at 70, they wouldn't set that as the national speed limit for appropriate roads now. Would they?!

It would be stupid to go at 70 when you can go at 50 much cheaper, more effectively re congestion, and more safely.

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 22-Apr-14 18:44:15

and more safely.

but when everyone else is going at a faster speed it isn't safer.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 22-Apr-14 18:45:14

But the thing is Pans the majority don't drive at you doing it doesn't actually help congestion.

YellowTulips Tue 22-Apr-14 18:46:53

My HUGE bug bear is the sheer number of people who drive on dual carriageway/motorways at 56 mph because they "think" it's the most fuel economical speed.

It's not - it's just an arbitrary figure car manufacturers use for fuel economy comparisons.

People drive at or just below this, causing lorries to have to overtake at only a few mph faster, thus slowing down the whole traffic stream.

If 56mph is just your comfortable driving speed then fair enough - but that's not what I see (and hear people talking about) - it's like a gang mentality - an urban myth.

Each car has a different economy point based on the engine, weight, gear you are in etc and the most fuel efficient speed can be very varied.

You need to check your rev counter. In general lower the revs, the lower your fuel consumption.

Bookaholic Tue 22-Apr-14 18:47:41

The worst idiot of this type I saw was on a 4 lane section of motorway. Very light traffic, good visibility, dry, day time. Basically perfect driving conditions. It was possible to pass him (it was a him, I looked over as I passed), on the left with a lane to spare. He was in lane 3, I went past in lane 1, I was doing 65 mph. (I was leaving at the next junction). The best bit - the 'taxi' sticker and tags on the window/registration plate.

Yeah. Great professional driving.

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 22-Apr-14 18:50:08

The aim should be to drive appropriately for the conditions. On a dry, free flowing motorway where there are no special factors then everyone should be tending towards the speed of the majority of traffic. Doing 40 while everyone else is doing 70 makes you a rolling road block. Doing 60 less so.

Still it's different not as bad as the night on the M4 when someone had stopped in the middle lane to retrieve items from their roofrack.

PansBigChainring Tue 22-Apr-14 18:53:07

Um..yes it does help as I am one less rushing to the next bottle-neck. And yes it is safer - speed kills. So in summary, don't blame the folk who do 50ish for your poor driving skills. People travel at varying speeds, and this isn't one dominated by the needs of caravan-tuggers to travel at their max speed allowed (OP). And learn some patience. Some of you need to check your blood pressures!!

pebblyshit Tue 22-Apr-14 18:55:55

Dawdling on the motorway isn't safer. It just isn't. We all have to share the road and we should all make an effort to do so courteously. Driving 20 mph below the speed limit and thinking 'I'm all right, Jack' causes a lot of unnecessary braking and overtaking. It also causes people further back on the road to wonder wtf is going on when they see all the brake lights, which causes more braking and traffic jams to form while the dawdlers potter at the front of mile long queues absolutely oblivious.

I'm not talking about when the road conditions and traffic volumes mean 50mph is appropriate, I mean when everyone else is doing 70 and suddenly you find yourself braking behind someone doing a speed much slower than everyone else.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 22-Apr-14 18:56:09

My driving skills are just dandy smile

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 22-Apr-14 18:56:41

but pan you are the bottle neck.

Raskova Tue 22-Apr-14 19:02:01

Haunted, it is I with the s reg Beemer! It's all fixed and perfect now! Mass air flow! Better than any Shitroen grin I love all your car stories grin

Pans, 70 isn't an horrific speed that people should be terrified of. It's an appropriate speed and does not cost that much more fuel wise. You could simply pick any number and say

yes, I want to drive at 40 everywhere because I'll save £3 a week and it is perfectly safe because I say so and will completely disregard a whole forum of sensible drivers because I AM right

And to the pp who said most slow drivers are old. And female. I was about to give it a how dare you but then I realised you're bloody right hmm

I'm female, I drive like a male and at over 30k a year I am accident free. (Well it's never been my fault wink)

YellowTulips Tue 22-Apr-14 19:04:33

Pans - you are talking rubbish.

Driving at 50 on a motorway (with the exception of where a 50 limit is enforced) thus causing lorries to overtake you is a contributor to congestion.

It also causes significant breaking/acceleration from cars around you which impedes overall traffic flow.

If that's your chosen comfort speed then fair enough to a degree but don't try and sell it as saintly driving - it's not.

It's about appropriateness of speed - which on a motorway in good conditions I would say 50mph is right on the lower limit.

PansBigChainring Tue 22-Apr-14 19:05:37

Nooo, never been a bottle neck - though I usually meet LOTS of bottle-neckers when at the end of the m/way etc.
No 70 isn't a horrific speed and no-one said it is.
end of table tennis! Drive carefully!

YellowTulips Tue 22-Apr-14 19:07:59

Can I suggest you haven't seen the bottleneck Pans because you use your rear view mirror with the same hesitancy as your accelerator - thus oblivious to the hordes behind you? blush

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 22-Apr-14 19:09:03

Oh excellent news on the Beemer! Glad you're converted too. Did wonder how you'd got on smile

Abra1d Tue 22-Apr-14 19:12:09

Pans you really need motorway driving lessons if you are not happy to drive faster than that.

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Tue 22-Apr-14 19:16:04

Why do the Brits always hog the middle lane on a motorway, even when there is nothing at all, for miles, in the inside lane? This is why I loathe driving on motorways here and will avoid it at all cost.

likeaboss Tue 22-Apr-14 19:19:47

Argh - slow, dithering drivers give me the complete and utter rage.

I do a lot of driving - motorway, rural, urban etc. etc.

People love to trot out the 'speed kills' mantra, but newsflash - so does dithering, poor driving skills, poor judgement and driving slowly. The amount of near-misses I have witnessed is staggering, and I can honestly say that barely any of those were down to excessive speed.

People who join motorways or dual A-roads slowly are a MASSIVE danger to other drivers. At best they cause a traffic jam, at worst they cause a crash. Why do you think there is so much congestion around junctions? Only two days ago I was stuck behind an absolute twat attempting to join the M1 at 38 MILES AN HOUR. The slip road was downhill, he was driving a new-ish Focus and the slip was very long. There was absolutely no excuse and he nearly got us killed. angry

I don't really have a problem with people going at 50/60 as long as they stick to the inside/slow lane - as there are other vehicles restricted to that speed, so saying it's too slow is a little redundant (as frustrating as it is).

My DM and DMIL are both fond of the "it's a speed limit, not a target!" saying - and they're both pretty poor drivers to be honest, with a fair few bumps notched up between them. The people I know who speed (shock horror, hang them from the rafters!) haven't had a single accident. They are confident and skilled motorists.

The national speed limit was set in 1978 - car technology has improved in leaps and bounds in 36 years, and cars are very capable of going faster than this with no issues. It's the drivers who need to be in control. The speed limit should be raised, at this rate we'll still be going at 70 even when we have futuristic I Robot cars grin

Raskova Tue 22-Apr-14 19:21:29

Haunted, it was quite a while after it was finally fixed so I'd lost the thread.

Sheherazade, are you German? I can't explain the middle lane hogging. I can't stand it. Please know that 'idiots' and 'Brits' are generally two separate entities wink

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Tue 22-Apr-14 19:29:26

God yes, this annoys me too.

However, not as much as the "I'm a careful driver" driver who goes everywhere other than a motorway at 40mph. I have an elderly relative who does this. Residential road- 40. Dual carriageway - 40. So bloody dangerous.

SacreBlue Tue 22-Apr-14 19:31:12

Isn't it all about driving at a speed that is suitable for the conditions and that you feel in control of?

I drive quite fast on motorways but I have family who rarely have cause to be on motorways or in Belfast and who feel a bit intimidated when they have to drive somewhere unfamiliar to them.

I remember driving to and through Dublin the first time and, despite being a confident and fast driver, I found myself rather intimated by the speed of regular users I assume. I tried not to slow down too much but sometimes when you are not familiar with that stretch or are watching for a turnoff it can be difficult not to.

Hogging the middle lane - or fast lane angry is v annoying though.

LongWayRound Tue 22-Apr-14 19:42:47

The national speed limit was set in 1978 - car technology has improved in leaps and bounds in 36 years, and cars are very capable of going faster than this with no issues.

Car technology has improved, but human eyesight and speed of reaction hasn't. The faster you go, the narrower your field of vision becomes. At 100 km/h (just over 62 mph) your horizontal visual field is only 40° (20° to the left and right of the line of sight). Source here So the higher your speed, the less likely you are to see possible hazards out of your direct line of sight.

bigdog888 Tue 22-Apr-14 19:44:47

There is no 'slow' or 'fast' lane, just lanes 1,2,3 etc. FFS how hard is this to understand? If you can't comprehend this then you shouldn't be on the road.

revealall Tue 22-Apr-14 19:46:54

I feel sorry for European drivers over here. They really know how to use the overtaking lanes abroad.
I frequently use the M25 and can't understand why the two outside lanes are chocker whilst the slowest lane is totally empty. Really fustrating.
I think there should be a 15 second rule when you take your test. If you can't overtake in 15 seconds or less then stay in lane.

likeaboss Tue 22-Apr-14 19:54:38

bigdog - I think some people (me included) use the slow/fast lane terminology as an quick way of explaining things. It's not a misunderstanding of motorway rules.

Longway - that's a very good point. I do however think it's all relative. At some point the risks of fast driving need to be accepted. If we all went at 20mph everywhere we'd be very safe. If we didn't drive at all there would be no road deaths. If we all stayed in our houses there'd be a lot less accidents (road or otherwise). I'm taking my point to the extreme but just trying to illustrate my meaning.

I really do think that more needs to be done to highlight the danger of dithering, slow and incompetent drivers rather than seizing upon motorists going at 80mph on the motorway and exclaiming "Aha! I caught you, evil speeding driver! You cause all the accidents!"

PrincessOfChina Tue 22-Apr-14 20:02:37

I'm another one who failed their driving test for "failing to proceed at an appropriate speed". In my case I was doing about 40 or so on a 60mph country road.

Driving in appropriately, be that too fast or too slow, for the road and conditions is dangerous.

pointythings Tue 22-Apr-14 20:07:58

'Speed kills' is too simplistic. Inappropriate speed kills. That can be either too fast or too slow. Adapt to the traffic and the conditions, be aware of what is happening around you and you'll be fine. Race or pootle along in a bubble feeling smug about what a wonderful driver you are and sooner or later you will come to grief.

olgaga Tue 22-Apr-14 20:13:52

It's not speed that's the most important issue, whether too fast or too slow.

It's braking distance.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 22-Apr-14 20:21:34

If you aren't capable of driving at 70 mph (not whether your vehicle is capable of going at 70mph - bet not many truckers pootle along at 55mph in their own cars) you shouldn't be on the motorway. Use the other roads for your journey, but going along at significantly less than the speed limit is a problem for the rest of the road users.

My pet hate is not using the slip road to get up to the speed of the road - it's downright madness to try to join a motorway going at 30mph, even those speed limited trucks will be going faster than that. And if you are in front if me when you slow down because it's all a bit much, you endanger me as well.

TheTertiumSquid Tue 22-Apr-14 20:23:46

Ha! This was me yesterday. 45mph on the M25 & M23. To be fair it was twilight/dark and absolutely tipping it down with rain and there was shed loads of spray on that particular road surface. I couldn't see more than about 20m in front of me. I did speed up to 65 or 70 when the rain eased.
I don't understand the middle lane hogging comment - I've read it before on here but never seen it. But I think that may be because the only motorways I drive on are the m23 and m25 and they are always so busy, lane hogging isn't a thing. You are lucky if there is a space to even change lanes to overtake.

Abra1d Tue 22-Apr-14 20:32:17

Parts of the M25 specifically tell you not to change lane. Between the M4 and the M3, for instance, anticlockwise.

bigdog888 Tue 22-Apr-14 20:37:38

Got it in one Pointy failing to look properly kills more people on British roads than exceeding the speed limit. The 'speed kills' brainwashing seems to have quietly disappeared - I wonder if that's because it's not strictly true. Driving doesn't automatically become dangerous at 71mph or safe at 69mph. Personally I drive to the conditions rather than the speed limit.

dolphinsandwhales Tue 22-Apr-14 20:38:03

Yanbu. It's dangerous to drive too slowly. I think the highway code says that you should drive at the speed limit unless it's unsafe to do so?

mercibucket Tue 22-Apr-14 20:38:26

doubleha grin
it was me today doing 5mph in a bloody massive queue
i think we just mean 'when 70 is perfectly achievable without compromising safety - but some twit still insists on doing 45'

I commute to work using the M1.

If I can get the speed up to 50 mph in the mornings I could jump for joy. Even the outside lane rarely gets up to 60 mph in my location!

It's all well and good spouting off about motorways being for fast driving, but between J21 and J21a, you'd be lucky to get any.

ReadyToBreak Tue 22-Apr-14 20:55:58

OMG the M23/A23 is horrendous for middle lane hogging!!!! Some of the poorest motorway driving I've ever seen.

That stretch was my daily commute for 5 years until a month ago.

I had people stop(!!!), yes, stop(!!!!) at the end of slip roads onto the M23!

Err, you are supposed to stop at the end of the slip road if your entry onto the motorway is blocked. In practice, I've only ever seen this when the traffic has gridlocked.

My normal thing is to match my speed to the vehicles on the motorway, pick a vehicle as "target" and slip in behind them. I thought that was how everyone did it.

withextradinosaurs Tue 22-Apr-14 21:22:33

I was doing 50 yesterday because the car in front was doing 50 and I was settling in before committing to an overtake.

The chap behind me was swarming all over my bumper and giving me Italian-style "hands raised to the heavens" gesture.

As PP said, the government have thoughtfully provided two other lanes for him to pass me in.

He passed me, pulled in, and braked to 50 realising there was a car in front of me.

Yes, I gave him the Vs. with gusto.

Then I pulled out and passed the fucker.

ReadyToBreak Tue 22-Apr-14 21:44:48

FryOne, the motorway has never been blocked in the instances I've encountered. It was just downright dangerous driving.

ivykaty44 Tue 22-Apr-14 22:44:32

Indridcold do you know why the lorry driving at slightly higher speed has to over take? Just curious if you know there is a reason and if you know what the reason is?

messalina Tue 22-Apr-14 23:40:13

The slow drivers are annoying but I can cope with them on a motorway as I can overtake them. They are more annoying on an A road and a tually dangerous as their slow driving encourages frustrated drivers to overtake when it may not be safe to do so. What annoys me on motorways is the prick (always, always, always male) who cannot abide the idea of a small Polo in the fast lane and tail gates dangerously until Polo realises that he of big Range Rover is Man of High Net Worth with Large Prick and all must make way. WANKER!!!! and if anybody like that is reading, I bet you are really shit in bed and have halitosis.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 22-Apr-14 23:49:43

grin @ messalina I once had a man in a jag chase me most of the way home because I didn't pull into the completely full middle lane to let him pass. When I came to a stop he shouted at me. His wife looked like she wanted to curl up and die. I was driving faster than the middle and inside lanes, I couldn't magically disappear for his special jag. That's kind of what I said to him grin.

I tend to drive at 70mph (on the motorway!) weather permitting. I never tailgate, I put my lights on at dusk. If I had £1 for every "I drive at 50mph because it's safer" driver, driving without their lights on when they should have them on, I'd be able to quit my job tomorrow.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 23-Apr-14 00:02:15

grin @ messalina I once had a man in a jag chase me most of the way home because I didn't pull into the completely full middle lane to let him pass. When I came to a stop he shouted at me. His wife looked like she wanted to curl up and die. I was driving faster than the middle and inside lanes, I couldn't magically disappear for his special jag. That's kind of what I said to him grin.

I tend to drive at 70mph (on the motorway!) weather permitting. I never tailgate, I put my lights on at dusk. If I had £1 for every "I drive at 50mph because it's safer" driver, driving without their lights on when they should have them on, I'd be able to quit my job tomorrow.

AnnField Wed 23-Apr-14 00:09:05

It wasn't on the motorway, but I was pulled over and breathalysed by the police yesterday for driving too slowly. Ironically, I was actually speeding at the time (doing 25 on a 20 road). I do think going too slow when conditions mean you don't need to is just as dangerous as going too fast.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 23-Apr-14 02:19:08

This is why I need a tardis

MrsMook Wed 23-Apr-14 06:57:26

When I passed my test, I took advantage of Pass Plus to be tutored on motorway driving, and it was very useful for learning good practice and gaining confidence.

Certain types of vehicle like tractors and low powered scooters/ motorbikes are prohibited because they can't reach the speeds expected in free flowing conditions. If I see a lorry, vintage car, caravan ahead, I can reasonably anticipate that they will be driving around 50-60mph and adjust my lane or speed accordingly. I keep left when not passing, but coming across a car randomly driving significantly slower than the flow of traffic is a hazard as you suddenly realise you have less reaction time than you anticipated, and frequently have to brake sharply as you can't safely pull out to overtake in the window of time avaliable. Particularly annoying is when it is shortly before a junction, and not appropriate to pass in a short distance, or it makes it considerably more difficult to pull in from lane 2.

There is a vile dual carriageway junction near me with a crossover. To join the dual carriageway safely you need a minimum of 40mph to merge with the traffic flow (generally doing 50mph), but traffic keeping left or turning off is decelarating to 20mph for a sharp bend. Several times someone keeping left has gone too slow in anticipation of the bend making it too dangerous to merge to the dual carriageway on the right, (short slip road, can be busy) necessitating a last minute change to the left, and a lengthy tour through the village to be able to loop round back to the junction to be able to start again.

trixymalixy Wed 23-Apr-14 08:55:27

I'm shock at someone putting their fuel consumption above the safety of themselves and everyone else on the road. If you are causing lorries to overtake you then you are making the road far far more dangerous for absolutely everybody.

What's worse is that you think you are driving more safely than everyone else?!?! Baffling and quite terrifying.

Please at a minimum drive at the same speed as the trucks for all our sakes or get off the motorway.

My dad was stopped for driving too slowly on the motorway and a friend failed her driving test for going too slowly.

Going over the speed limit is stupid too, but driving slowly does not necessarily make you safer, you should be adapting your speed to the drivIng conditions and the flow of traffic.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 23-Apr-14 09:12:31

I have a friend who does this, she's on a moterway shit loads of people are doing about a ton everybody else is doing 65-70 so she potters along at bang on 50 because and I quote "they shouldn't be going so fast I will slow them down"

She also drives everywhere else at 35 nobody but nobody I know will get in a car she's driving

The slow, dangerous drivers are not just one the motorway, though.

The ones who tootle along at 50 on a motorway (when conditions permit faster driving), are the kind of people who will rigidly stick to 5-10 mph below the speed limit anywhere. They think it makes them a better driver. I reckon it makes them dangerous because if they're that inflexible with speed, then what other driving skills are they being rigid on? Would they be able to react properly to a sudden incident if required?

I had this conversation with someone once, pointing out to the smug git that being so rigid on speed might indeed mean he was unable to react properly in the event of an accident.

mercibucket Wed 23-Apr-14 09:39:43

i dont know, Manic, they might be the ones with the same speed regardless

45mph on motorway
45 mph in a 30 zone

unlucky83 Wed 23-Apr-14 09:52:29

Alisvola I think I met that man ...coming down the M1 about 20 yrs ago...he couldn't bear to be overtaken by me in my little old battered Fiesta...
Empty motorway, Jag driver (and companion) in middle lane doing 60...I came up the inside lane and had to go across two lanes to overtake soon as he realised he was being overtaken he sped up - I don't drive with my ego (plus fiesta vs Jag hmm) so I let him effectively undertake and dropped back to the inside lane, he sped ahead. Within a few minutes his speed had decreased again.... I caught up with him again so started moving to overtake and he moved into the outside lane still at 60 and stayed there confused...
I go back to inside lane - empty middle lane -I think I'm going to stay where I am and do a reasonable speed and ignore him (apart from slowing down not to undertake him my speed was constant). He stayed in outside lane and kept pace with me for a while then sped off ahead again ....but his speed must have started dropping again, I caught up with him and this time I managed to sneak past him on the inside (he was still in the outside lane, empty middle lane) ...which in his world was obviously more acceptable confused....

Oh, we get loads of those around here as well, merci.

I long ago realised that it was best to keep a very large gap between me and the car in front, cos I could never be sure what they would do.

DP witnessed a fatal accident last year, and when giving a statement to the police (at home), he said that he could do 70mph right behind someone, or 70mph with a big gap. He'd take the gap because it gives him time to react, and he'd get home at the same time anyway.

I like driving fast, if conditions are right, but it is more important to me to observe everything, and make sure the speed is appropriate to the conditions. Recently had a sudden rain storm that reduced visibility to almost zero for a short while, which was tricky to negotiate.

sashh Wed 23-Apr-14 09:54:56

My parents live near a motorway and a crematorium.

It is not unusual for the motorway to be down to 30 because no one wants to overtake the hearse.

pointythings Wed 23-Apr-14 10:12:22

45mph on motorway
45 mph in a 30 zone

This ^^.

Drives me proper mad. We call them the '45 is a safe speed' brigade. The roads round my way are such that overtaking them safely simply isn't an option, so I don't try. Unfortunately other people do, and I've seen some scary near misses. These people should not be on the road, and we need more mobile speed cameras in the villages to catch them out.

I also hate people who cut in front of me - no, that isn't a gap, you plonker. That's my braking distance!

thebodydoestricks Wed 23-Apr-14 10:15:36

No the inky thing that pissed me off are twats who speed right up to your arse in the inside lane.

Fuck off.

QueenStromba Wed 23-Apr-14 11:22:56

I agree with everyone who's saying that if you can't or won't keep pace with trucks then you shouldn't be on the motorway. Trucks can't just slow down and speed up willy nilly because it takes a lot of time and fuel to accelerate. Also, if they stick behind the people who think they're doing 50 but are actually doing 45 then that will add a lot of time to a long journey. I believe that truckers get their pay docked if they are late?

Driving slower than trucks means that they have to overtake you which means that you are blocking two lanes of motorway every time a truck catches up with you. Very selfish behaviour.

Raskova Wed 23-Apr-14 12:25:03

Where were all you guys when I was talking about 40 being too slow in a 60! I got well and truly told off!

Abra1d Wed 23-Apr-14 12:37:45

I would have been on that thread agreeing with you, Raskova. I am sick of being stuck behind unconfident or just ignorant motorists on our 'main' road into town. Just dawdling along, not looking in their rear mirrors, refusing to pull over to let those of us trying to get to work/the doctor's/the bus drive at a reasonable speed, within the law and according to weather and road conditions.

scallopsrgreat Wed 23-Apr-14 12:50:17

I find myself in the rather strange position of agreeing with just about everyone on this thread. Even those with opposing views grin

I think its because I've found myself being annoyed at some point in my motorway life with everyone and everything on there. But now I feel like I'm out of the other side and all a bit meh about what other people do! Live and let live.

But those doing less than 40mph are definitely a hazard because you come up on them so unexpectedly fast. And even large heavy vehicles go faster than that and they then have to overtake and all hell breaks loose.

topknob Wed 23-Apr-14 12:57:36

The slow drivers are more dangerous than the ones at the speed limit or close to it (conditions permitting) Everyday I drive on a 60 mph road and almost daily I am held up by some idiot doing 30. There is only one safe place to over take on that road so if traffic is coming the other way I am stuck for the whole road, which I can do in 10 minutes if clear but stuck behind these idiots turns it into 20 mins. They just toddle along, chatting away to the passenger and not paying attention at all.

SarcyMare Wed 23-Apr-14 13:13:03

fully agree about people doing 45 on the motorway, and topknob when i am in a pootle mood i pull over as all my driving is country, and have had other ederly relatives give me weird looks not understanding that going slowly is dangerous as it can and does cause bad overtaking.

SlowlorisIncognito Wed 23-Apr-14 13:23:09

I live in Cornwall, so don't actually drive on motorways that much, but do drive on a lot of A roads where the speed limit is 70. And yes, you do have to be aware of things like farm vehichles driving on these roads- but that is generally fine as you can usually spot them at a distance and prepare to take evasive action.

The slightly lost tourist on the other hand who is doing 40-50 or less- harder to spot and prepare for, so a greater hazard.

There is a reason you can fail or get minors on your driving test for driving too slowly (I think they call it failing to make apropriate progress?), and that is because you are a hazard. I am pretty sure that you would fail if you did 50 in a 70 zone where it was safe to do 70. If possible, you are expected to drive at 65mph or higher.

I do think there are lots of older people who passed their tests when there were a lot less cars on the road, and things like this did not matter quite as much. This is why I think people should be subject to retesting as they get older. My dad has turned into one of those people who drives at 40-50 miles an hour everywhere. He thinks I am an unsafe driver because I drive up to 70 when it is ok to do so. On the other hand, he is the one with points from doing 40 in a 30 zone.

Yes, speed can kill, but this generally applies to areas of slower road, where you might encounter unexpected hazards. For example it is not usually safe to be driving at the speed limit on country lanes, or speeding in a residential area where a child might run out into the road.

QueenStromba Wed 23-Apr-14 13:41:06

Raskova - if yours is the thread I'm thinking of you were talking about windy country roads where it really isn't safe to go 60 but the road has never been given a speed limit and so is national speed limit by default. Very different to going 50 on the motorway.

Bowlersarm Wed 23-Apr-14 14:24:48

(Raskova I was on that thread. It seriously pisses me off that drivers drive at 60 past my house on a windy road which is unsafe to do so. Needlesstosay, many of the speeding fuckers end up through a hedge or upside down on their roof. It is a 60, but only morons would drive at that speed)

Raskova Wed 23-Apr-14 14:46:08

Queen stromba, no I was talking about roads where it's safe to do so. Other people assumed I was talking about roads where it wasn't and that I was forcing people to go faster. Even after I'd corrected people and made myself clear people were still giving me shit about it.

To me, it's selfish to go at a slower speed and hold other people up. I finish work at 4.30 and have a 15-20 minute journey home if everyone drives at the appropriate speed. I pay my childminder until 5 so that I have 10-15 mins leway for any incidents. If I'm stuck behind one of these people that go slow unnecessarily the journey takes me 25-30 mins. This happens more days than it doesn't. I'm missing out on valuable time with my daughter and risking a late fee for these people when I feel allowing almost double the time the journey should take should have been enough. I only get to see my daughter 5-7.30 on a week day and 10 mins in the morning because I work full time. These people eat into that time and it's not fair hmm

When I was doing my IAM advanced driver training many years ago it was a failable offense to drive slower than the speed limit unless road or weather conditions made it unsafe to do so.

bigdog888 Wed 23-Apr-14 16:25:46

Absolutely Livid I was taught to make progress as far as the conditions allow and the observation and other skills to achieve this.

Collaborate Wed 23-Apr-14 17:08:02

Near where I live is a dual carriageway that has a speed limit of 40, then 70, then 50, over the course of 3-4 miles. Just before the 70 ends there is a speed camera. The speed limit signs for this section are the Nat speed limit ones (white circle with black diagonal line), which signify 70mph on a dual carriageway and 60 on a single carriageway (for cars). The amount of cars I see driving at 70 but then braking suddenly for no reason when they get to the speed camera is staggering. Must be around half of them.

MelonadeAgain Wed 23-Apr-14 17:28:48

The 50mph motorway drivers are the same ones who, on a two lane motorway, overtake at 50mph and then stay in the overtaking lane at 50mph, causing huge tailbacks, because there is a lorry 2 miles in the far distance. And of course, they think they are driving safely, and it is their self appointed role to ensure everyone else drivers slowly too.

There are quite a few roads round here in between towns with 40mph limits, filled with people driving around 30mph. When its dark these are the same (50 years plus) drivers who immediately speed up to 40-45mph to go through towns. Presumably because there are lights in towns and they can see better...

Then theres the drivers who slow down ridiculously for any minor bend, to 20 or even 15mph, causing a tailback behind them, but who speed up to 60mph on the straight bits where you might safely overtake...

I loved living and driving in Germany. You used to get to places so much quicker when you could do 120mph equivalent on a nearly empty autobahn early in the morning. The lane discipline was excellent - you can be fined for not indicating to change lane or for being in the wrong lane.

unlucky83 Wed 23-Apr-14 17:29:34

Collaborate - that's because they think damn it have I missed the signs?
I think all speed camera should have the speed underneath them in great big numbers - especially on roads where it changes often ...
They are a hazard...surprised they cause more accidents than they prevent...
There is a road near my parents which I don't know very well - it is a long A road with empty stretches and stretches with a couple of houses (no lamp posts) and 'villages' that are 30 - there is a a bendy bit (no houses) that is a 30 (but has great big long empty straight stretches at either side that are also 30, empty stretches that are 40 and Nat speed limit (60) then past some of the houses is a 30, some 40 and some 60 ..and it is peppered with speed cameras ...I tend to go past most of the cameras at 30 because there seems to be no reason or pattern for the changes ...and often I'm not 100% sure what the limit is...

unlucky83 Wed 23-Apr-14 17:41:56

Melonade - here in Scotland there are some really tight (and narrow) bends on A roads - you really do need to go 15 mph or slower ...but they have signs that light up before warning you to slow down...and one I can think of actually flashes up '10 mph'....
I think that is a fantastic idea because if you don't know the road the word 'slow' in the road could mean anything ...
Near my parents there is a quiet country road - officially a nat speed limit road with two close bends - one is a 2nd gear and one is a 3rd gear ...the locals know they are there and no-one is signposted along those roads. But since sat navs there has been a massive increase in the number of people who have ended up in the hedges...a more major road to that one has a tight bend and they have now reduce the speed limit to 30mph...for the same reason ....

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