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Tailgating and middle lane hogging ranked among the most irritating driving habits

The AA has polled more than 140,000 members since 2008 to find out what they think is the most annoying trait of other drivers.

"Tailgating and hogging the middle lane is not only annoying but dangerous," said the AA.(Image: David Tipling/Getty Images)

Drivers have revealed the most irritating driving habits of others they encounter out on the roads.

The AA has polled more than 140,000 members since 2008 to find out what they think is the most irritating trait of other road users.

Tailgating has been rated as the most irritating habit of all, for the sixth time out of the past seven years, followed closely by talking on a mobile phone.

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The motoring association said talking on a phone in the car has consistently been in second place over the seven years except in 2014 when it took the top spot.

Middle lane hogging came third with other habits including speeding, driving too slowly and overtaking on the inside further down the list.

Jack Cousens, AA public affairs officer, said: "Tailgating and hogging the middle lane is not only annoying but dangerous.

"Drivers across the country are so fed up that they feel more police officers are needed to help control the situation.

“Unfortunately the number of specialist traffic officers has been cut since 2005, which has meant the new police powers introduced three and a half years ago have had a limited impact.

“Getting frustrated by the selfish, inconsiderate behaviour of others could cause you to make a mistake. Try to stay calm and focus on your own driving.”

In August 2013, the coalition government gave the police new powers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for incidents of careless driving such as tailgating and middle lane hogging.

Since their introduction the number of people issued a ticket for careless driving was 8,000, whereas over 55,000 tickets were issued to people for not wearing a seatbelt.

Both of these figures have fallen significantly over recent years.

“Policing is a key concern to voters in the upcoming election and funding more officers across the board would be a welcome sign," said Mr Cousens.

“Simply having a larger and more visible police presence on our highways will encourage greater compliance with the rules of the road and improve road safety.

“It will also send a signal to those who frequently abuse the road that their chances of being caught have been increased.

"At present it seems that offenders simply feel they can get away with it on a daily basis.”

Earlier this year, stricter penalties were brought in for those caught using a phone whilst driving, with 3,000 drivers caught by Met Police in London within the first week .

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