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to ask middle-lane sitters why they do it?

(290 Posts)
Gentleness Fri 15-Feb-13 12:15:27

I'm not starting this thread to criticise or belittle at all, so please don't flame me. The audi thread just got me thinking about my constant mental battle to assume the best of other drivers. I have to, as I'm naturally a harsh critic and I don't like it in myself. But while I can think someone speeding is trying to get to their sick child, or someone dithering has had a bad scare, I struggle to understand the drivers who sit in the middle line on motorways. So, tell me why so I can train my brain to be kind!

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 12:12:15

If you are sitting behind a middle lane hogger doing less than 70 when the left lane is completely clear then flash your headlights at them several times. This usually works. They will pull into the left lane and you can pull into the left lane as soon as it is safe to do so. Don't get het up about it!

CarlingBlackMabel Mon 18-Feb-13 16:28:18

AllDirections, please, I have driven thousands and thousands of miles on all kinds of motorways, in many countries, and I fully understand why middle-laning can be a nuisance. As I said (patronising tone right back at you) I am not defending it as a practice, but that does not mean I don't also find much of the fury, aggro, entitlement, attitude that 'I have no other choice but to undertake' etc etc OTT. Attitude is one of the key components, IMO, of safe driving - either way.

CarlingBlackMabel Mon 18-Feb-13 16:29:55

How on earth is overtaking a middle laner in the third lane on a not-especially busy motorway of any particular risk?

Undertaking, on the other hand is against the highway code, unlawful and risky.

Zilvernblue Mon 18-Feb-13 16:36:47

I can't understand why people are even asking why its more difficult to overtake middle lane hoggers on an empty motorway. Obviously its because you have to move out from the inside lane, where you have been driving correctly, across two lanes, and then back across two lanes. Instead of one lane change. Which doubles the risk and increases the time taken to do the manoevure. Usually on a quiet motorway this will be fine, but it makes a straightforward overtaking manoevure more risky and difficult.

And if another vehicle wants to overtake my car, then I have to wait behind you until its past. Effectively reducing an expensive 3 lane motorway to a rather pointless 2 lane motorway.

Why not just drive in the correct lane yourselves? Is it really too much to ask that you drive courteously and correctly, instead of expecting other drivers to take extra steps to manoevure around your lack of driving awareness?

ChocolateCakePlease Tue 19-Feb-13 16:28:47

"Undertaking, on the other hand is against the highway code, unlawful and risky."

Middle lane hogging when not overtaking is also against the highway code, unlawful and risky.

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 19-Feb-13 16:31:27

It is not against the law to drive in the middle lane, however irritating it is, and it is against the law to undertake.

People should not mindlessly drive in the middle lane for no good reason.

But the amount of aggro that other people respond with is is also potentially dangerous.

Hardly anyone really drives in the middle lane on an empty motorway. And if they did overtaking them in the third and moving back to the inside lane wouldn't be much of a problem.

Really our motorways are busy places and people are making slightly different judgements about how to deal with that.

I agree with Carling that the anger shown against middle-laners - and the behaviour that goes with it such as tail-gaiting, speeding, and under-taking - is likely to be more dangerous than the middle-laners behaviour

IShallWearMidnight Tue 19-Feb-13 17:12:01

Goldmandra re slip roads being designed t give you enough space to join safely - To join the east bound M25 at J5 from the east bound A25 you turn 180 degrees back on yourself and reach the motorway in less than 10 seconds (from stationary at traffic lights on A25) with practically no visibility. You then have approx 10 seconds of driving (at no more than 40) before you hit the A22 exit. So just at the point you're joining the motorway, traffic is pulling across you to exit. It's one of the scariest junctions I've driven on.

And not going near the arsehole lorry driver who thought it was funny to totally block me getting on the M25 from the A2 (before they redid that junction), and forced me to come to a complete stop at the end of the slip road, meaning I sat there for 5 full long minutes as there wasn't a big enough gap to allow me to get out from a standstill and up to speed. Felt sorriest for everyone coming up behind me on the slip road who then had to slam on their brakes.

Goldmandra Tue 19-Feb-13 18:24:39


That sounds like a horrible junction and a horrible experience. Cleary that one is very badly designed sad

maddening Tue 19-Feb-13 19:57:33

Sudaname - no undertaking is not a choice - the police would likely prosecute you for dangerous driving.

They would more likely "have a word" with a person driving in the middle lane with no other traffic on the road.

ChocolateCakePlease Wed 20-Feb-13 09:59:16

Yet that is weird maddening that the person undertaking (whilst within the speed limit) and an empty motorway would get done but someone driving in the middle lane on an empty motorway (thus causing more danger by making drivers do manouvers around them) would get a slap on the wrist. Very odd. Both mean danger but i would say the latter was far worse on an empty motorway than the former.

LessMissAbs Wed 20-Feb-13 10:26:48

Juggling I agree with Carling that the anger shown against middle-laners - and the behaviour that goes with it such as tail-gaiting, speeding, and under-taking - is likely to be more dangerous than the middle-laners behaviour

I disagree; I find the type of driver that daydreams in the middle lane, without any awareness of how to drive safely on motorways or of other road users, is far more potentially dangerous than a faster, more awake, more aware driver.

Oh, and by the way, middle-lane hoggers still do all those faults you list...

Well Les Mis - we're obviously dealing with generalisations here .... you for example extend the characteristics of a "middle laner" to be someone that "daydreams and has no awareness of how to drive safely on motorways or of other road users".
That's quite a lot of assumptions I'd say.

You think someone who doesn't have middle lane tendencies will be "faster, more awake, and a more aware driver"

Well faster (more impatient) yes, the others, not so much !

LessMissAbs Wed 20-Feb-13 10:45:37

Juggling having road awareness, courtesy for other drivers around you, awareness of what is means to constantly drive in the middle lane, causing those driving correctly to cross two lanes to overtake you, being aware of the Highway Code and how it advises drivers to use motorways - yes, I think that makes for a safer driver.

Why exactly is this novel?

I just understand some of the pressures that might cause someone to have a relative tendency towards remaining in the middle lane compared to more frequent lane changing ... not least the pressures from other drivers driving behaviour and attitudes.

Those tending towards use of the middle lane are far from the only ones causing problems, Less Miss.

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