It's the irritation that blights every morning or runs the risk of frustration boiling over on the evening commute home.

Now it’s official. 

Tailgating by other drivers is the behaviour that annoys motorists most on the roads, according to new research.

The poll found that 85 per cent of drivers questioned found the practice annoying while potholes (81%) were cited as the second most irritating thing.

Other annoyances in the top 10 included drivers not indicating when turning/changing lane (78%), motorists using mobile phones (75%) and using full-beam headlights (71%).

However, only about four in 10 (41%) of the 731 Scots surveyed said they were bothered by other drivers breaking the speed limit.

As part of the same research, 1,025 Scottish adults were asked a series of true/false questions by pollsters YouGov, with the survey finding that just over one in 10 (12%) Scots think drivers can legally handle their mobile phone while sitting in their car at traffic lights.

More than six in 10 (61%) people believe that if you drive into the back of someone, the accident is always your fault.

Gordon Bell, partner and head of litigation at Glasgow-based personal injury lawyers Dallas McMillan, which commissioned the study, said: “As one of Scotland’s leading personal injury lawyers, we handle large numbers of motoring accident claims – so we’re not surprised by some of the survey findings.

“However, when it comes to the law on car accidents, sometimes it’s not quite as simple as you first think.

“Although in most cases it will be your fault if you drive into the back of the car in front, it’s not always so.

“For example, if you have a blackout due to an unknown medical condition or the driver in front is driving recklessly, you may not be liable.

“If you are distracted at the wheel by a sudden life-threatening incident, which leads you to crash into a vehicle braking in front of you, then you may not be held to blame.

“That’s why it’s always worth recording what happens contemporaneously and never admitting liability at the scene of
an accident.”

The other annoying behaviours in the top 10 were slower drivers staying in middle/outside lanes on motorways, which annoyed 66% of motorists surveyed, and drivers jumping the queue at roadworks (63%).

Six in 10 found it annoying when they were cut up by overtaking drivers and about half (51%) were irritated by drivers braking at the last minute.

The research was carried out in August.