It takes motorists in the South East just one week for bad driving habits to start after passing their test, according to a survey carried out by Accident Advice Helpline.
A study of 2,000 motorists across the UK, found the average driver in the South East started letting bad habits creep in after less than two months on the road.
Almost seven per cent admitted they started developing dodgy driving habits just under two weeks of removing their L plates, and 50 per cent of adults in the South East passed their driving test on their first attempt.
The majority, 91 per cent, felt that this did not make them a bad driver.
David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, said: “Passing your driving test is, for many people, one of the hardest things they’ll ever have to do.
“For many of us, that testing day could have come years or even decades ago – plenty of time for bad habits to creep in. Our study found lots of drivers are happy to admit to bad practices when behind the wheel and sadly we often have to deal with the unforeseen consequences.”
According to the research, before the first six months of driving are complete, many drivers in the South East will have stopped holding the wheel in the ‘ten and two’ position and are unlikely to check their mirrors every time they make a manoeuvre.
On average it takes just four months for drivers in the South East to become a ‘middle-lane hog’ on the motorway – sitting in the central lane rather than moving over to the left.
Drivers will further put their safety at risk by driving without a seatbelt after less than three months of having their full licence.
The average driver will have run a red light within four months of passing their test, while illegal U-turns become second nature in under five months.
David added: “Bad driving habits can compromise safety and the research suggests it’s all too easy to let our driving standards slip.”
A tenth of those surveyed admitted to having had an accident due to getting slack with following the rules of the road.