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Does driving get crazier the further south you go?

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

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

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

ChunkyPickle Wed 31-Jul-13 08:39:05

I like driving in London - yes, it could be seen as aggressive, but I prefer to call it decisive smile

When I've been driving in London for a while, then head out into the country I get all sorts of looks (and honks) until I tone my driving back down again (this was especially the case on a motorbike)

Having said that, I do mean decisive, not dangerous - no overtaking on blind bends, no tailgating, speeding, pootling at 65 in the fast lane or dodgy lane moves.

I have to agree though, if you think we're bad, the standards are much, much worse in other countries I've driven in.

zzzzz Wed 31-Jul-13 08:39:38

grin yup. Crazy driving actually makes me grin. Some people just can be tamed.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 31-Jul-13 08:40:21

YABVU. People in London, and points further south, know how to drive. People north of London? Not so much. That's the difference.

strawberry34 Wed 31-Jul-13 08:46:18

Yanbu, driving is crazy in London, but that's because it's busy and congested, a few bad drivers wind up the good drivers. For example, on the crazy M4 yesterday there was an idiot driving at 60 in the middle lane, overtaking an empty lane. It was dangerous as drivers were having to slow down behind them and try to get round iyswim, there was a lot of honking and undertaking, while the slow driver carried on obliviously.

melika Wed 31-Jul-13 08:53:01

You should try M6, junction 5 to 10,north and southbound, it frightens me and I use it regularly.

tiggytape Wed 31-Jul-13 09:08:23

London is bad - I think it is the congestion
It makes it hard to rectify simple mistakes like being in the wrong lane because there's nowhere to move to and everyone is stressed and aggressive and guarding their bit of road and the fact that they were in the correct lane first.
And the congested slow patches means that when you hit a clear spot nobody can tolerate anything less than going over way over the speed limit whilst tail gating and undertaking everyone else.

I learnt to drive in London. A lot of lessons involved how to ignore this without letting it intimidate you and 'creep and peep' techniques to get out of junctions before you died of old age.

grumpyoldbat Wed 31-Jul-13 09:10:09

I find that the M6 gets busier on average the further South you go. I think that makes it seem like there are more nutty drivers. I suspect that percentage wise there are the same number of bad drivers everywhere.

PanicMode Wed 31-Jul-13 09:10:19

I drove in London for ten years and would rather drive there than where we live (Tunbridge Wells). Bunch of crazy, selfish, idiotic drivers!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 09:18:20

I moved away from London to the south west last year and regularly moan to DH about the drivers here.

What you think of as mad, I find driving with a bit of purpose and knowledge of the road.

Here, quite often three cars pull up to a mini roundabout, haven't paid attention to who got there just first and all sit there staring at each other.

When a road has cars parked on it, they seem to think only one car can fit down at a time and create silly traffic jams taking turns, when I know full well that both me and a bus can get down at the same time. They all seem to believe that their cars are 30 feet wide.

When they park in car parks, they do so without looking for other cars, and your existence is treated (when finally noticed) as utterly mystifying.

They sit at junctions for days because they are waiting for a gap that could let out 7 cars.

I could go on grin.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Wed 31-Jul-13 09:21:59

Leeds - Manchester m62 is terrible. My car gets blown across it!

Compared to that London is easy.

I'm a northerner and northern driving is terrible. Everyone is too busy being friendly and waving and flashing (lights) to let each other go first. I just don't think they are focused on driving. None of that messing in London, if you make eye contact it's because you've crashed.

Northampton is the worst. Paris, Rome,Milan, New York, Delhi. I've driven in all with varying degrees of success. But the prospect of getting behind the wheel in Northampton has me trembling.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 09:27:39

Oh god, yes, the light flashing ThinkAboutIt They are buggers for that round here. I'm minding my own business pulling out of my junction and someone stops dead and flashes their lights at me to let me out. It's kind of them and everything, but if they looked in their rear view mirror they'd realise that there is a big space behind them that I was going to use to pull out and I've had done it quicker that way without all the smiling and flashing!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 09:28:09


TalcAndTurnips Wed 31-Jul-13 09:29:20

I live on the south coast and drive like a myopic nun in a beige Mini.

The worst driving I have ever seen was on the Paris Orbital. I actually hid under a duvet on the back seat - it was like being Stuka dive-bombed by Renault 5s.

Eyesunderarock Wed 31-Jul-13 09:31:04

My least favourite and scariest driving was in Greater Manchester, the M62 and everywhere else. Hostile, poor skills, illegal moves, terrifying.
I lived there a decade, then moved south, and I use the M25 regularly.
Still not a patch on GM. smile

BionicEmu Wed 31-Jul-13 09:32:34

Barmix I am 100% in agreement, Naples really is terrifying! Lots of people driving those tiny old Fiats yet somehow managing to take up an entire dual carriageway, extreme tunnel vision, & completely random speeds.

I didn't get what the fuss was about Rome though!

In the UK, I think Cardiff is the worst. Traffic lights are just for guidance, "Give Way" seems to mean that other people will give way to you. Speed limits are optional unless there's a camera, in which case everyone slams their brakes on & crawls past at 20mph, whatever the speed limit.

ShowOfHands Wed 31-Jul-13 09:34:41

I think there are idiotic drivers everywhere. I also think that wherever there's a motorway, you'll see all sorts of madness. Largely because it's not a requirement that you're taught to drive on them so you pass a test having merely pootled around in some cases (on my test I drove mainly in 30mph areas, went onto one stretch which was 40mph and then bimbled around a quiet estate) and suddenly you're allowed to aim your car at a motorway. And it surprises me how many people don't understand them. Hence the undercutting and use of the hard shoulder. You can also see evidence of it on this thread. ChunkyPickle refers to a fast lane. There's no such thing. It's not a swimming pool. But I know lots and lots of people who think there's a fast lane on a motorway.

I passed my test in April and I see idiots every time I get in the car. There's this strange attitude that you're in a protected little bubble and your needs outstrip the law and comfort of others. Thankfully, I see kind and considerate drivers too but the idiots are all over the place.

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Jul-13 09:39:32

Oh god, come to the West Country, the driving here is quite bizarre. No understanding of indication, use of lanes or speed limits. My in-laws live in mid Devon. So many people drink and drive. It's no uncommon to see cars in ditches on a Sunday morn

SprinkleLiberally Wed 31-Jul-13 09:47:36

The Leeds thing is the poor signage rather than driving imho. It ia dreadful on the ring road.
Worst area for me was around Corby/ Northampton/Peterborough. Really noticeable. Nowhere else has ever struck me as being bad.

ReindeerBollocks Wed 31-Jul-13 09:58:10

Down South isn't worse at all.

I drove to Lauceston and Bournemouth within the last two years. The drivers were polite and extremely well behaved! It made me realise how aggressive drivers in Manchester are.

However I recently drove around the West End on a weekend evening. Never again. Would probably drive around London again, just not that particular area at that time.

So no the South isn't bad for driving, certain areas aren't great though. However the same can be said of the North. However, I always find Leeds easy to drive to, which is different from stories here.

LessMissAbs Wed 31-Jul-13 10:51:18

I still find it better than in Scotland though. I often drive to Dover etc from Scotland to get the car ferry and the lane discipline, in terms of not continually driving in the overtaking lane when the inside lane is empty, is noticeably much better. the m25 may be the exception, but nowhere in the UK can surely compete with the driving on the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh. If you have the temerity to move out to overtake and then correctly move back in, you will be blocked deliberately or flashed at or tailgated aggressively if you try to move out to overtake again. It only has two lanes so this effectively turns it into one lane if traffic doing 50-60mph even when its quiet.

As for Aberdeen, I believe it has the highest accident rate in Britain? Basic things like roundabouts, junctions, and speed limits confuse the hell out of people. They dont have any motorways, so consequently have no idea how to drive even on the few stretches of dual carriageway. And aggressive? I once broke down on a side street used as a rat run, hazard warning triangle out and everything while waiting for the AA, and had people actually slow down to shout abuse at me and make throat slitting gestures, etc.

LadyBryan Wed 31-Jul-13 11:22:51

Driving in West Yorkshire is NOTHING compared with London and its outskirts. Wouldn't do the latter in a month of Sundays!

Drive all throughout West Yorkshire with no issues whatsoever

TravelinColour Wed 31-Jul-13 11:33:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 31-Jul-13 11:34:44

I think people are possibly confusing the term 'bad' with the phrase 'unfamiliar'.

For bad driving you need to go to Kiev. Where it can take 2 or 3 hours to drive just a mile, and where drivers routinely take to the pavements to try and get out of/around traffic jams. Once you've been in Kiev everywhere else looks like paradise (see also, the toilets).

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 31-Jul-13 11:35:22

Sorry - term 'unfamiliar'. Bit of crap editing on my part! Which bodes well for today's work.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 31-Jul-13 11:48:51

Interesting the comments re Manchester

I think I'm a confident and pretty good driver and I had a terrifying drive to Liverpool a few months ago ( from Manchester)

Undertaking/tail-gating. Thousands of lorries who clogged up the slow lane so very difficult to actually join the motorway. Then lorries diving into the middle lane randomly so you nearly had to do an emergency stop. No point indicating to get into the fast lane to move out the way - those fuckers would watch you crash and burn rather than give an inch or slow down slightly to let you move in.

I find it the same round where we live in Cheshire. When I was taught to drive, I was told that you had to keep an eye on the slip roads if you were in the slow lane. If you saw cars trying to join the motorway, you should safely move over to let then. Not round here you don't. You don't slow down or speed up to create a gap for then either. You make it as hard and as dangerous as possible for them to join the motorway

I posted about it here and was told to get driving lessons hmm. I honestly don't think that people realise how bad the driving is round Liverpool and Manchester

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