26 Sept 2014

The Driver Who Wants To Be In The Exact Same Place As You

I see plenty of stupid behaviour on the motorways but there's one particular scenario that seems to happen again and again - the driver who wants the exact piece of road you're on.

I pull on to the motorway and pretty soon head for the middle lane. No offence to inhabitants of the slow lane (OK, lane 1) but they're just too slow.

I stick at it at an indicated 80mph which in reality is more like 76mph and therefore below the radar of the radar.

If the slow lane opens up I'll move over to it, indicating if there's traffic around and not if not.  I come up behind an HGV, indicate and move into the middle lane again.

Some idiot is doing 68mph in the middle lane so I indicate right to get into the fast lane (yes I know it's lane 3 but who calls it that?).

A stream of drivers who aren't adhering to the system of lanes we have in the UK refuse to let me into the fast lane. BMW, Subaru, Ford, eyes ahead - don't look at the car who wants to get into the fast lane, then he'll be in front of me.

I wait whilst the selfish and the stupid pass and eventually someone, let's say he's in an Audi A4, drops back a little and lets me into the fast lane, ahead of him.

I raise a hand to thank him and carry on.

I stay in the fast lane, the middle lane is busy and travelling at under 70.  The A4 has been in my mirror for a while and he's inches from my rear bumper.

The traffic thins out and I pull into the middle lane.  The A4 follows.

The slow lane is free, I use it.  The A4 does too, right behind me.  I speed up a bit, the A4 speeds up.

I slow again, to 70mph.  Mr A4 pulls into the middle lane and travels 1mph faster than me.  He's in my blind spot, then alongside me.  He stays there.

I don't like travelling abreast, I slow.  He carries on ahead of me, slowly. Eventually he pulls into the slow lane, and slows to 65mph.

I catch up and pass him, travelling 15mph faster.  As I approach he speeds up and we travel abreast again.  I speed up a little, he speeds up a little.

We approach an HGV in the slow lane.  He pulls into the middle lane, behind me and sits on my bumper.

I'm still doing 80mph and suddenly A4 man wants to go faster.  He moves into the fast lane for an overtake, an oh so slow overtake.  We travel abreast.

Traffic ahead, the slow and middle lanes are travelling slowly, I indicate to move into the fast lane.  The A4 is adjacent and won't budge.

I slow gently and temporarily and pull in behind him.

The A4 decides he's travelling too fast, momentarily indicates left and barges into the middle lane.  I overtake.

Seconds later he's back behind me in the fast lane.

The traffic thins but he's still with me, overtaking, travelling adjacent, sitting inches from my bumper - repeat ad nauseum.


The Audi A4 driver isn't just an example, it happened to me last week on the M4 and it isn't an isolated incident.  Sometimes a driver locks on to you, just like the unseen driver of the rig in the Spielberg movie, Duel.

You can't shake them, you can't reason with them.  All you can do is curse under your breathe and wonder if they're just as much of a cock in real life as they are on the motorway.

A scene from the film, Duel

By Matt Hubbard