Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Warning

When I learned to drive. I was taught MSM. Mirror Signal Manoeuvre.

So if I am changing lanes to the right. I see my mirror, signal and then try to change lanes to the right. As soon as I signal, I will notice the driver on the right hand lane, will instead, of going at the same speed, will try to put the gas pedal down and accelerate, to close the gap, so that I can't get into that space.

It seems driving styles have changed over the years, and people have become more selfish and dangerous.

It seems when you are changing lanes, you have to force the other driver to back down, slow down to give you space.

Is there a technical term for this behaviour?

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Xileno

Is there a technical term for this behaviour?

I'm struggling to think of a polite one!

I can't say I've experienced the problem you have described, more often it's when I'm on an A or B road doing a perfectly safe and legal overtake and the car I'm passing decides to accelerate.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - RGCRob

I have a few - probably not a good idea to write them down here though.

Usually if you're pulling out you are attempting to overtake a hazard - be that a slower driver or an obstruction in the road. For that reason the driver in the outside lane should at least maintain speed in order to allow you to pull out.

If it is safe to do so, bearing in mind there may be a hazard the other driver cannot see, they may even slow a little to help you pull out in good time.

But I agree, I have seen this aggressive style of driving becoming more common. Personally I don't think it's safe for anyone.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Terry W

Drive as though other motorists are ignorant, inattentive, malicious idiots.

On the motorway, after mirror, signal, either:

  • pull out rapidly if you are happy there is space, or
  • indicate for 5 seconds then move so you can see whether other drivers are in courteous or stupid mode.
Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - skidpan

I can't say I've experienced the problem you have described, more often it's when I'm on an A or B road doing a perfectly safe and legal overtake and the car I'm passing decides to accelerate.

I have experienced that plenty of times when passing other motorists who dawdle along at 40-50 mph on a national speed limit road behind other slow traffic but object to being overtaken.

But when I asked the opinion on here I was branded the villain and accused of not being able to drive correctly.

Think you are onto a looser even suggesting it.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Theophilus

As a driver who attempts to drive at a safe speed and leave a 2 second gap between myself and the vehicle in front I am more concerned by the sense of entitlement that turning on an indicator seems to give a driver in the inside lane to barge into my lane with no attempt to look for an opportunity where the traffic is less congested.

Even more alarming are those drivers who barge into my lane and only switch on their indicator after already making their move.

Edited by Theophilus on 16/02/2021 at 14:00

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Andrew-T

... I am more concerned by the sense of entitlement that turning on an indicator seems to give a driver in the inside lane to barge into my lane with no attempt to look for an opportunity where the traffic is less congested.

A consequent type of behaviour may result if this becomes a general habit - drivers may not indicate, but pull out anyhow. Which is better ?

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - chris87
I’m not sure. The road is full of drivers who think that indicating, even last minute, means everyone behind must slam on the breaks to let them in. I’m not saying you’re one of these, but you could be. If the car in the other lane has time to accelerate and close the gap, you’re pushing it. Why not merge way ahead or why not admit that changing lanes means YOU have to wait and not interrupt the traffic/force drivers to stop suddenly.
Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - leaseman

"When I learned to drive. I was taught MSM. Mirror Signal Manoeuvre."

No. If you had a proper instructor, it should have been M. S. M. M,

Mirror Signal MIRROR Manoeuvre. This suggests that you evaluate the reaction to your signal before actioning your intent. I passed my driving test for a motorbike 54 years ago, and still maintain this discipline. It's saved my life on a number of occasions and never cost me much time on regular 300+ mile runs over the years.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - jc2
You could be moving into someone else's safety space.Their braking zone.
Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - badbusdriver

I have very little experience of what the OP describes. But I do find, in my own experience, other cars barging in causes a lot of anger. Back when I drive buses, coming North out of Aberdeen there was a huge bottleneck where the dual carriageway ended. There would usually be stop start traffic in the N/S lane 2 miles beforehand, but the overtaking lane would be running fairly well up to a couple of hundred meters before the dual carriageway ended. As there was no bus stops, it was common practice for the buses to use the overtaking lane in order to try and avoid getting to far behind schedule. Some bus drivers I know would simply barge in, but all I would do is put the N/S indicator on but stay in the O/S lane. Someone would always let me in.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Heidfirst

"When I learned to drive. I was taught MSM. Mirror Signal Manoeuvre."

No. If you had a proper instructor, it should have been M. S. M. M,

Mirror Signal MIRROR Manoeuvre.

or even Mirror Signal Mirror Check over shoulder Manoeuvre :P

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - ExA35Owner

My grandfather was a volunteer ambulance driver in WW2 alongside his day job as a Procurator Fiscal, so he saw a good deal of the consequences of driver error. His advice was, "Always assume the other driver is a bigger fool than you are." It still applies.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Bilboman

It is actually very difficult to communicate intentions to other drivers on a motorway (those who even attempt to communicate) so drivers tend to guess that the other driver (i) has seen him, (ii) is going to do what he thinks he's going to do (iii) isn't about to change his mind. Humans exhibit body language, but cars only have a horn, headlamp flasher and indicators, all of which may be misinterpreted and over or under-used.
Indicators may be left on for miles. Modern ones tend to flash three times minimum.- And a lot of drivers just don't use them.
Horns are not audible through soundproofed windows or 200 Mb of so-called music blasting out of a dozen speakers. It's not always easy to tell who is tooting the horn.
The headlamp flash is dangerously ambiguous, since the overriding imperative of British courtesy and the unending chorus of "After you!" "Thank you!" "Not at all!" "My pleasure!" has all but rendered its "official" meaning ("I am here!") redundant. And if the other driver doesn't check his mirrors or is driving a LHD 44 tonner with mirrors not quite properly positioned, well - good luck with that!
It is a specific traffic violation to hinder an overtaking car in Spain, whether on a single carriage road or a motorway; in the former case, one is obliged to move towards the nearside where possible and maintain or reduce speed; to increase speed is an offence.

Edited by Bilboman on 16/02/2021 at 23:09

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - sammy1

I don't recognise most of what is being said on here as a real problem. Sure you get the odd idiots but considering the millions of manoeuvres carried out each day things move along OK in the main. Most drivers are considerate but you do have to look out for yourself. The main thing that gets me is HGVs pulling out on duel carriage ways and taking a mile to pass another! But patience is required when driving today.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - barney100

The one that gets me is someone overtaking and pulling into the nice gap you had left for safety. I suppose if you hit him the fault would be yours. I have had drivers cutting in and braking, Pays to drop back further if you suspect a cutter.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - madf

My grandfather was a volunteer ambulance driver in WW2 alongside his day job as a Procurator Fiscal, so he saw a good deal of the consequences of driver error. His advice was, "Always assume the other driver is a bigger fool than you are." It still applies.

Quite.

And don't get annnoyed or lose your temper as it achieves nothing.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Warning

Some people might be thinking, that I am barging into someone else's lane.

When I look in the mirror and I find a nice gap. Lets say the other driver to the right to me is doing 45mph. Driving at a steady speed. As soon as I signal right, to make my move, the other driver will increase their speed. So my nice gap, is now hard for me to get into (and even dangerous). For a time, I would have to cancelled changing lanes.

However, it seems now you have to fight for that space, so you have to force the driver to slow down back to 45mph (the speed they were originally doing). I don't like doing that, it is n't my driving style.

It was never like this before, I have been driving for many years. It just seems the driving style has changed. May be it is different in other parts of the country.....

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Andrew-T

However, it seems now you have to fight for that space, so you have to force the driver to slow down back to 45mph (the speed they were originally doing). I don't like doing that, it isn't my driving style.

I suspect it's a result of denser traffic, and maybe the fact that many more cars have turbos, with quicker acceleration. Opportunities for manoeuvring have to be taken quickly before they evaporate.

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - galileo

Some people might be thinking, that I am barging into someone else's lane.

When I look in the mirror and I find a nice gap. Lets say the other driver to the right to me is doing 45mph. Driving at a steady speed. As soon as I signal right, to make my move, the other driver will increase their speed. So my nice gap, is now hard for me to get into (and even dangerous). For a time, I would have to cancelled changing lanes.

However, it seems now you have to fight for that space, so you have to force the driver to slow down back to 45mph (the speed they were originally doing). I don't like doing that, it is n't my driving style.

It was never like this before, I have been driving for many years. It just seems the driving style has changed. May be it is different in other parts of the country.....

I find it is best to anticipate the need to change lanes well beforehand: leave more space in front of you, adjust speed while watching for a gap in traffic to your right, once there is a big enough gap use full acceleration to pull out.

If the gap was big enough, unless the approaching car is a Ferrari they can't close up the gap.

If the slower vehicle you are passing is a truck (especially left hand drive) get past it as fast as you can. It is also good policy to try and see past it, if it is closing on an even slower vehicle it might pull out giving little warning. (many examples on YouTube of the unpleasant consequences of this).

Edited by galileo on 18/02/2021 at 10:02

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - Sulphur Man

Love to see how an autonomous driving setup would deal with the overtaken car speeding to close the gap.

I expect it would either a) back off and go behind again (if the space still existed) or b) keep accelerating until a space big enough is available, which could bring legal trouble (would the autonomous driver get the fine, or the actual person sitting at the wheel?)

Driver closing the gap when changing lanes - skidpan

My grandfather was a volunteer ambulance driver in WW2 alongside his day job as a Procurator Fiscal, so he saw a good deal of the consequences of driver error.

Most road accidents during WW2 were caused by the black out and not many private vehicles about because of fuel rationing. The fatality rate was about 8 times todays rate in 1945 and that had doubled from the pre-war rate.

 

Value my car