Standard of driving in the UK going downhill.

Soldato
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I've been driving for a while now, the best part of 30 years, and I seem to be getting increasingly frustrated with the standard of driving in this country. Up until fairly recently I use to travel 35-45k a year on business, but thankfully I now have a reasonably short commute on a mixture of A roads and motorway.

However, despite the fact I'm no longer racking up the miles I seem to be experiencing more and more drivers that in my opinion simply shouldn't be on the road. The worst culprit for me at the moment is the driver that can't appear to get up to speed when joining a motorway. I'm literally seeing this on a daily basis and it's downright dangerous. 40mph when you're trying to merge with vehicles doing 55-70mph is a recipe for disaster. Then once you're finally on the motorway you've got the middle lane dwellers, the special ones that seem to think that because there's a lorry in the inside lane half a mile up the carriageway that it's their god-given right to hold up the entire motorway.

After leaving the motorway and back onto the A roads you then get the suicidal emergers. You know the type, they seem to wait until you're almost upon them before pulling out of a side road, their mind seemingly stuck between two thoughts and inevitably they make the wrong decision which equates to a quick stamp on the middle pedal. You wouldn't mind so much, but half the time they don't even bother to put their foot down in order to evade a rear-end collision! This leads us nicely on to my final bugbear, the over-hesitant, the dithering driver waiting for a gap the size of the QE2 before emerging from a roundabout, totally oblivious to the huge queue lining up behind them. Honestly, if you're that indecisive I'm afraid there's no room for you on our overcrowded road network.

Anyway enough of my ranting, what winds you up on the road?

TLDR There's too many ***** on the road!
 
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Man of Honour
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We have these threads all the time, what I don't get is people were already saying the standard of driving was terrible 15 years ago, so is it really going downhill, or has it actually just remained terrible rather than progressing to really-super-dooper-terrible?
I don't think I've ever visited a country where the standard of driving is as high as it is the UK.
 
Man of Honour
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Couple of those you mentioned I can kind of understand it - merging onto a multi-lane carriageway and/or roundabouts because in turn few people will lift a finger to make it easier for other road users who are doing so i.e. indicating to show where they are going or moving over a lane if it is clear to do so, etc.

On the other hand far too many people who just pull out of junctions or force their way into a road expecting the people already on it to accommodate them without a full view of what is going on producing some extremely dangerous situations i.e. there is a reason someone hasn't pulled into the middle land to let someone join because there is a vehicle blocked from view of the person pulling out.

I think that the roads are busier than ever mean we just encounter this kind of thing more often and/or generates more situations to encounter poor driving rather than necessarily standards going downhill as such.

Had a bit of a fail of my own at the weekend - I'd already been held up behind 2 farm vehicles then 2 cyclists, made a rather chancy overtake on a corner when encountering a 3rd cyclist which I wouldn't do again - wasn't dangerous as plenty of time to stop if something had appeared but wasn't good either - I could see there had been no traffic approaching the corner from the other side of it but couldn't actually see around the corner itself. Then at the next lot of lights he went past again so I had to spend another few minutes crawling behind until eventually he decided to pull to one side and let traffic past. Not sure really why I did it as I don't usually take chances when driving - but 12 hours overtime in 3 days and not a lot of sleep probably contributed to poor decision making. (At least I gave him a decent amount of space unlike the 3 cars ahead of me which passed within inches).

I'm also noticing a lot of other road users seem to have less and less concern for anyone else - pedestrians casually walking on the blind side of a corner, or walking along busy roads without a care a good couple of feet from the verge into the road making no effort to accommodate traffic. Even if it is their right so to speak in some cases they must be suicidal.
 
Soldato
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I've been driving for a while now, the best part of 30 years, and I seem to be getting increasingly frustrated with the standard of driving in this country.

It's called getting old. Have you by any chance also noticed that the Police look like kids these days?
 
Soldato
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I’m not surprised by the standard of driving, not sure it’s got worse.

I am surprised at how many drug drivers there are on the roads, you can smell some of them several cars back, really potent stuff. Really brazen of them or the severe lack of policing means there’s little risk.
 
Man of Honour
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I’m not surprised by the standard of driving, not sure it’s got worse.

I am surprised at how many drug drivers there are on the roads, you can smell some of them several cars back, really potent stuff. Really brazen of them or the severe lack of policing means there’s little risk.

Not something I've run into often but surprised by the level of it when it has. One 2-3 days back I was standing outside work and a SUV went past probably 50 feet away and it was almost overpowering for 30 seconds or so.

Few weeks back encountered a convoy of 3 cars doing 40 MPH everywhere where I could smell it through the AC on recirculation.
 
Soldato
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I probably wouldn't say it necessarily has gotten worse, but there is more traffic now, when I am in the UK i normally drive a good 300+ miles a week up and down the country and have done for the last 11years.

The more you drive the more you notice the near misses. I definitely feel in 11 years the traffic has increased during peak times. So it could just be the more you drive the more you are likely to witness or be part of some road antics.
 
Caporegime
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More traffic, but the standards in the UK are a lot higher than other countries I've been in.
 
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The only thing I can think of is people are now messaging on their phone whilst driving. This was a thing in 2005, but back then a text could be sent without even looking at the screen as you had real buttons.
 
Man of Honour
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The only thing I can think of is people are now messaging on their phone whilst driving. This was a thing in 2005, but back then a text could be sent without even looking at the screen as you had real buttons.
Also plenty of people taking videos for Instagram/snapchat/whatever half staring at their phone and half looking at the road.
 
Soldato
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I'm with ya on the motorway thing, drives me mental joining a motorway at 30mph it's simply dangerous. However there are multiple reasons, the main one I'm thinking is simply the sheer amount of cars!

However, lets look at some facts... from 1997 when I first passed my test (I was a late starter). the amount of cars on the road went from 22.8M to 32.9M... so, over 10 Million car increase... hence more crashes, more idiots on the road... it all increases and also increases constant traffic jams... the cars have to somewhere.

So we're probably way over 32M now in 2021. As a % increase that's a big increase in a very very short period of time, now we can see why the M1/M6/M56 are just gridlocked all the time.

More people in the UK (population) than ever accounts for some of this... people have more money (leases for lots of people so don't even need the money) gives more and more people the chance to drive. 10M increase in population, 9.5M in cars... that's just luck more than anything... but there will be a correlation!

However here's the UK's stats, makes for daunting reading on the amount of cars on the roads now compared to earlier in our lifetimes! This means, you're going to meet a larger proportion of muppets than you used to each day... it's simple mathematics.

YEAR NUMBER OF CARS
2020 31,695,988
2019 31,888,448
2018 31,517,597
2017 31,200,182
2016 30,850,440
2015 30,250,294
2014 29,611,489
2013 29,140,937
2012 28,722,453
2011 28,467,289
2010 28,420,877
2009 28,246,470
2008 28,160,702
2007 28,000,264
2006 27,609,171
2005 27,520,398
2004 27,028,099
2003 26,240,404
2002 25,781,931
2001 25,125,867
2000 24,405,549
1999 23,974,937
1998 23,293,332
1997 22,831,698
1996 22,237,538
1995 21,394,103
1994 21,199,203

To quote: "To put that growth into perspective, the world was home to around 670 million vehicles in 1996 but just 342 million vehicles in 1976. If that staggering rate of growth continues, the total doubling every 20 years, then we can expect to see some 2.8 billion vehicles on the planet in 2036."

So I was born in 1974 so in my lifetime (infact on 22 years of it at that point), we'd doubled in cars in the world! Insane!

Just for people, UK population table included as well for the same years...

Year Population Growth Rate
2020 67,886,011 0.53%
2019 67,530,172 0.58%
2018 67,141,684 0.62%
2017 66,727,461 0.65%
2016 66,297,944 0.66%
2015 65,860,146 0.67%
2014 65,423,047 0.68%
2013 64,984,018 0.71%
2012 64,525,312 0.79%
2011 64,021,919 0.89%
2010 63,459,808 1.00%
2009 62,828,616 1.10%
2008 62,145,097 1.12%
2007 61,455,162 1.04%
2006 60,821,356 0.88%
2005 60,287,954 0.69%
2004 59,872,753 0.52%
2003 59,561,432 0.40%
2002 59,326,294 0.34%
2001 59,124,288 0.34%
2000 58,923,309 0.35%
1999 58,715,854 0.35%
1998 58,509,974 0.35%
1997 58,307,313 0.33%
1996 58,113,557 0.31%
1995 57,932,453 0.29%
1994 57,763,378 0.28%
 
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Soldato
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I've been driving for a while now, the best part of 30 years,
You're old and washed up, get a new hobby. I was broadly with you until you then started whining about people joining roundabouts and then it just became "old man noise".

To quote: "To put that growth into perspective, the world was home to around 670 million vehicles in 1996 but just 342 million vehicles in 1976. If that staggering rate of growth continues, the total doubling every 20 years, then we can expect to see some 2.8 billion vehicles on the planet in 2036."
lol, love stats like this. And if it continues for another 80 years, it'll be 11.2 billion!!!11 that's more than 1 car per person, on the entire planet! Quick Elon, colonise Mars.
 
Soldato
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The issues the OP has mentioned have always been a "thing" for as long as I can remember driving.

What I have noticed deteriorating recently* are lazy things like lack of indication and lane discipline, and also aggression/selfishness, such as driving within an inch of your bumper for daring to have the audacity to stick to the speed limit, and not letting you merge etc.


* I say recently, as while there has definitely been a steady decline over the years, I noticed a very marked increase in incidences of poor driving when I moved from the South West to the West Midlands about 10 years ago - I think half the drivers round here found their licence in a Christmas cracker, and it's pretty self evident why insurance costs are significantly higher :mad:
 
Soldato
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You're old and washed up, get a new hobby. I was broadly with you until you then started whining about people joining roundabouts and then it just became "old man noise".


lol, love stats like this. And if it continues for another 80 years, it'll be 11.2 billion!!!11 that's more than 1 car per person, on the entire planet! Quick Elon, colonise Mars.
Yeah I was thinking that when I read it, but I get the point they are making... all we need to know is, it's going up and it's going up at a big rate... the UK stats are the really interesting ones...
 
Soldato
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What I have noticed deteriorating recently* are lazy things like lack of indication and lane discipline, and also aggression/selfishness, such as driving within an inch of your bumper for daring to have the audacity to stick to the speed limit, and not letting you merge etc.
For some reason as well, it seems to be a 'crime' committed by such a wide demographic. I saw some knobhead in a god-aweful Vauxhall something or other (looked like a grosser [is that even possible] version of a Yaris Verso) not indicating and tailgating the other day. Looked across and it was just a regular everyday respectable 'gent'. Gone are the days when it was easy to guess :o:eek::cry:
 
Soldato
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Yeah I was thinking that when I read it, but I get the point they are making... all we need to know is, it's going up and it's going up at a big rate... the UK stats are the really interesting ones...
Not arguing the number of cars have gone up. But a lot of houses now have more than 1 car. Just you and Gibbo alone are skewing the stats :p
 
Soldato
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Staffs, UK.
Had a bit of a fail of my own at the weekend - I'd already been held up behind 2 farm vehicles then 2 cyclists..

Cyclists are rife around here, haven't got a problem with them normally, but when they travel in a herd imagining they're in the Tour De France without a care in the world for other road users it makes my blood boil.

Also plenty of people taking videos for Instagram/snapchat/whatever half staring at their phone and half looking at the road.

Yes, see this a lot, another example of why social media is the scourge of society. You wouldn't mind so much, but when the inevitable crash does happen they often take out an innocent member of the public with them.
 
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