The number of UK drivers reporting instances of middle lane hogging has increased, new figures have shown.

A poll of more than 20,000 motorists carried out by the AA in February showed almost half (49 per cent) of drivers believe this dangerous practice is becoming more common.

Dangers must be recognised

The result follows the publication of government figures showing an 8.4 per cent reduction in the number of Fixed Penalty Notices being handed out to motorists for dangerous driving in the last year.

Despite this, many motorists believe there is a growing need for more action to be taken to penalise individuals who block traffic and create disruption by sitting in the middle lane and refusing to move over.

Edmund King, AA Charitable Trust director, said: “Middle lane hogs are always in the top three pet hates of drivers, so it doesn’t help harmony on the roads if drivers perceive the problem is getting worse.

“At best, middle lane hogs and under-takers are annoying, but the reality is these habits are dangerous. Blocking lanes often leads to other drivers tailgating, which itself leads to collisions.”

That said, many respondents to the AA’s research also highlighted the issue of smart motorways in putting people off from driving in the left-most lane. A lack of hard shoulder means some drivers are worried about running into broken down vehicles if they stay in this lane.

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “Remember that cruising along in the middle lane is blocking traffic that could wish to overtake you, forcing other drivers into the outside lane and potentially clogging the motorways for everyone.”

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