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Drivers using social media greatest danger

Feb 14, 2018

IAM RoadSmart’s third annual Safety Culture Survey which examines the attitudes and concerns of UK drivers has found that for the third year running their biggest worries are: people updating social media or sending text messages while driving; drink or drug driving; and mobile phone use. 

The survey of more than 2,000 motorists found that more than 90% of those surveyed thought that the dangers caused by people accessing social media or e-mail messages while driving were a significant threat to their personal safety and that the problem is increasing, with 80% believing the problem is more significant than three years ago.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs also remains an issue, with 90% of drivers surveyed identifying this as a serious safety problem. And while around half of the drivers surveyed believe the dangers posed by drink-driving have remained the same over time, the problem of people driving under the influence of drugs is increasing, with 64% identifying this as more significant over the last three years. Other key risks to personal safety on the road identified in the survey include talking on mobile phones (89%), speeding on residential streets (87%), drivers ignoring red lights (87%) and tired drivers (86%). Aggression behind the wheel was also identified as a problem, with 75% of those surveyed believing this to be a danger to their personal safety.

When asked about their own driving habits, about one in three (30%) said they drove slower than others on the road, while just over half (55%) said they drove at the same speed as others around them, with only one in seven willing to admit to going faster than everyone else.

IAM RoadSmart’s survey also found there is little tolerance for breaking motoring laws: 50% of drivers feel it is unacceptable to drive 10mph higher than the speed limit on a motorway. This figure increases substantially for other forms of speeding such as driving at 5mph more than the limit on a residential road (76% unacceptable), and driving at 5mph greater than the limit near a school (90% unacceptable).  While 45% thought it was acceptable to drive using a hands-free phone, that figure drops to just 9% when it comes to a hand-held one.

Meanwhile 93% strongly supported a law requiring all drivers age 85 and older to pass a simple screening test and 91% strongly supported a law requiring all drivers age 75 and older to provide an eye test certificate. 

Photo: 90% of those surveyed thought that people accessing social media or e-mail messages while driving were a threat to their safety.

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