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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!

Leather Fri 15-Feb-13 12:32:38

Can I just add that I would never be in the middle lane doing less than 70 assuming the road ahead is clear/conditions are fine etc.
Sitting in the middle lane doing 60 is asking for trouble

higgle Fri 15-Feb-13 12:34:23

I think people do it because if you move over behind a lorry when you are no longer overtaking and the lorry catches up with a still slower one you are stuck there because everything is wizzing past you too quickly for you to get out. If you are a good driver you are looking ahead and anticipating and keep on overtaking at an appropriate speed until you move over into a fairly clear or quite speedy bit of the inside lane. if you are ( sorry about exposing prejudices here) over 70 , 4'2" and wearing a flat cap you just stay where you are because it is less trouble.

MerryMarigold Fri 15-Feb-13 12:34:34

I wonder if all of you who get cross about middle-lane sitters get so annoyed with 90mph 'fast lane' drivers. I wonder which is more dangerous.

MerryMarigold Fri 15-Feb-13 12:35:58

Just playing devil's advocate really. I mostly do move in and out and overtake as appropriate. But I have sat occasionally too.

specialsubject Fri 15-Feb-13 12:36:59

you stay in the left-most lane that is suitable. You move to the right to overtake a slower vehicle, and as others note you also move to the right IF IT IS SAFE when approaching a slip road, this makes it easier for joining traffic. It also protects you from the idiots who don't know that joining traffic adjusts its speed and doesn't just barge in.

slower vehicles should leave enough space for faster vehicles to overtake them one at a time - but as unnecessary lane changing is bad, it is best to stay in the middle lane until you have passed all the slower vehicles.

the left lane also has the worst surface - but that's just tough unless the motorway is empty. That's why people might be using the middle lane at 3am, car repairs costing what they do.

BTW the speed limit in the UK is 70, and once I have overtaken someone I will move to the left as soon as it is safe to do so, i.e. when I can see them in my driving mirror. Sitting in my boot is not going to change this. If you want to waste petrol and break the law by driving faster than 70, that's fine with me, but I am still not going to move back to the left until it is safe. Yes, YOU in the white van or the big black car.

Sparklingbrook Fri 15-Feb-13 12:38:19

And why do the 50mph restrictions through roadworks only apply to me?

mirry2 Fri 15-Feb-13 12:39:44

Juneybean, overtaking in the nearside lane (ie from the left) is dangerous

Beamae Fri 15-Feb-13 12:40:25

I don't understand why people get upset about people driving in the middle lane. I really don't.

I drive as far left as I can. If I am going faster than the left hand lane I drive in the middle. If you speed up behind me in the middle lane you can overtake on the right. Job done.

WillSantaComeAgain Fri 15-Feb-13 12:43:04

I have long held the (very reasonable) opinion that all cars should come equipped with James Bond style missile launchers, which you should be legally allowed to fire at any cars sitting in the middle lane. It drives me nuts, especially on the 4 lane sections of the M25, where the inside lane is empty and everyone sits in the first and second overtaking lanes.

There is a girl I regularly pass on my commute in a silver ford focus, doing around 60mph in the middle lane of the M4. In the absence of the integrated rocket system, I have flashed her on numerous occasions, but she is oblivious to her surroundings.

ClumsyClumberson Fri 15-Feb-13 12:43:25

The thing that's most dangerous about changing lanes is when you have to move out of lane 1 and into lane 3 to overtake someone sitting in lane 2 when there's no need. So all the middle lane sitters who are keeping themselves 'safe' by not changing lanes are forcing others to expose themselves to danger.

It's purely selfish and inconsiderate and I really wish the police would pull these people over. The Highway Code doesn't advocate middle lane hogging!

needastrongone Fri 15-Feb-13 12:44:24

Sorry, this drives me mad, as does people who don't move to let you onto the motorway, dh drives over 50,000 miles a year and he is an extremely chilled driver as he sees it all tbh but middle lane drivers drive him insane.

You drive in the 'slowest' lane available for your speed. You observe the road and overtake as appropriate as often as needed!

It's really bad driving to sit in the middle lane. Honest it is!!!

drjohnsonscat Fri 15-Feb-13 12:45:42

yes I never overtake in the left hand lane even if there is a middle lane sitter. It's dangerous.

Specialsubject has it about right I think. I'm not sure it's right to feel frustrated with middle lane drivers if they are there for a reason. Agree that you shouldn't be there if you are doing less than 70 or if the left lane is empty but there are plenty of good reasons to be there

There's a tendency for motorway drivers to think the speed on this motorway should be precisely the speed I want to go at and everyone else is in the wrong.

needastrongone Fri 15-Feb-13 12:45:46

Lol Santa!!!

ClumsyClumberson Fri 15-Feb-13 12:46:17

I don't think anyone is suggesting that people shouldn't use the middle lane to overtake a stream of traffic, but if the leftmost lane is clear you should be there.

orangeandlemons Fri 15-Feb-13 12:47:35

I hate changing lanes, it scares me. I try not to drive on the motorway. I know all the laws about which lane you should be in. However ime the inside lane is full of lorries, and the outside lane is often full of people breaking the speed limit. So which is the safest lane?

Charleymouse Fri 15-Feb-13 12:48:24

My FIL used to get told off by MIL to get out of the nearside lane as that is for the "old banger type cars" not cars like hers "the Mercedes" which she was travelling in. shock

Ha ha I think she thought the lanes were a reflection of type/status of car you were travelling in.

Personally I hate it when they cruise in the middle lane when the nearside is free. I end up overtaking constantly on some stretches of motorway which I would not need to do if they would stay in the nearside lane

Think of the car being parked at the side of a road. The side nearest the kerb is the Near side ie it is nearest the side of the road.
The side furthest away from the kerb is the Off side.
So the Near-side of the car is the Passenger's side and the Off-side is the Driver's side.

Obviously if you learn the NEAR the SIDE of the road rule then the other side has by default to be the OFF away from --the- SIDE.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 15-Feb-13 12:48:33

I mainly drive on the very congested roads of the south east where the left hand lane maintains a pretty steady 55-60mph. What, exactly, are you supposed to do if you want to drive at 70mph?

quiller Fri 15-Feb-13 12:48:44

I genuinely don't understand how it's meant to work then. On all the mways (southeast, busy) I use, the leftmost lane is full of people going slow and HGVs. If I want to go faster what should I do? Overtake every car individually? Technically I suppose I am overtaking the whole time in the middle lane - if there was space in the leftmost lane I'd move into it.

Keenoonvino Fri 15-Feb-13 12:51:54

My husband's driving instructor told him that you should sit in the middle lane on a motorway to avoid pulling in and out. I was irritated because I kept telling him it's bad driving to do that, but that's what he was told....

choccyp1g Fri 15-Feb-13 12:55:57

The reason people don't like the middle lane drivers is because they don't enjoy having to overtake in the fast lane, because it can be difficult to do so safely when there are other faster cars coming up behind them, who drive too closely to the car in front, and never hang back to let someone out.

That's the same reason why the middle lane drivers are there: because it can be dangerous to pull out from the lorry-clogged slow lane, when there are faster cars coming up in the middle lane who drive too close to the car in front never leaving a big enough gap for anyone to pull out into.

Even the drivers in the slow lane contribute to this problem, by driving too close to the vehicle in front, not leaving a gap big enough for someone to pull into.

In other words, think about whether your own driving is causing the problem.

WillSantaComeAgain Fri 15-Feb-13 12:57:34

Highway Code (264): "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 return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely"

So while, yes, it is fine to stay in the middle lane if you're overtaking a number of lorries, once you reach a point where there is a gap in the inside lane, you should move back over. Obviously judgement and common sense play a part in this, but some of the middle lane drivers seem to have been bypassed by judgement and common sense.

Wincher Fri 15-Feb-13 12:57:47

What almost irritates me more is undertaking. I try not to be a middle lane hogger, as they irritate me too, but sometimes I pull into the middle lane to overtake, then before I can pull back into the left lane, something behind me has nipped in and is undertaking me. I have occasionally been stuck on a two-lane road with several cars undertaking me, unable to pull over safely. It's so so dangerous. And I tend to drive at around 80mph, so not exactly slow! The only time I ever undertake is if someone is sitting in the right hand lane of three and I want to go faster - I sail past in the left hand lane and they still have a clear middle lane to pull into if they want. Happens surprisingly often.

juneybean Fri 15-Feb-13 12:57:51

mirry2 at no point did I say I overtook. I was in the left hand lane and remained in the left hand lane at 70mph.

akaemmafrost Fri 15-Feb-13 12:59:19

I sometimes forget I am there blush but do move over sharpish when reminded. I am not a massive offender as much prefer to tuck in at 60 in the slow lane. I don't like going fast <<quakes at thought>>

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 15-Feb-13 13:05:39

LOL at the poster whose MIL thought that there was a sort of class system for motorway lanes!!!

I generally drive in the appropriate lane and pull in and out as required. However, when there are loads of lorries I will stay in the middle lane.

My bugbear is lorry drivers who pull out without warning - especially those from abroad with the cab on the wrong side

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