Middle lane mania is

rife

Motorway traffic

IT never ceases to amaze how long it takes for bad habits to be ironed out of the UK's driving profile.

For instance, a new study of motorway traffic flows commissioned by Direct Line Car Insurance reveals that an average of half of all vehicles travel in the middle lane and 27 per cent travel in the outside lane.

Researchers analysed more than 70 hours of footage across major UK motorways and found that, on average, just 23 per cent of traffic drives in the inside lane.

The video shows drivers blatantly ignoring the highway code, which clearly states "you should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear".

Additional new research shows that 43 per cent of motorists in the UK will drive in the middle lane on the motorway even when the inside lane is clear of traffic.

Most drivers guilty of ‘middle lane hogging' do so because they want to avoid overtaking, claiming they know they will have to pull out to overtake lorries or other slow vehicles further up the road (43 per cent).

A third (33 per cent) of motorists drive in the middle lane to avoid changing lanes too much and more than one in five (22 per cent) do so because they claim it makes them feel safer.

One in nine (11 per cent) of those avoiding the inside lane do so because they claim they drive at the maximum speed limit so no one should be overtaking them.

But the thing is, middle lane hogging is illegal and to do it blantantly could result in blue lights in your rear-view mirror.

Amazingly just half (51 per cent) of Britain's motorists are aware they could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention for remaining in the middle lane when the inside lane is free.

If drivers needlessly hog the middle or outside lanes they can be prosecuted for careless driving, which could see them awarded between three and nine penalty points4 and a fine between 25 per cent and 175 per cent of their relevant weekly income.

"It's important that we increase awareness of the rules and penalties, primarily because they exist to keep road users safe but also drivers face serious fines and endorsements that that will stay on their record for four years.

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