RAC Cars News


Are You A Safe Driver?

By raccars Published

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Our roads are busier than ever, meaning it is more important than it ever was to drive safely and courteously. This means driving within the speed limit and paying due care and attention to other road users.

In order to achieve this, the government has made driving tests stricter but accidents still happen. Over three thousand people were killed or seriously injured as a result of speeding in 2013, and speeding tickets worth over £45 million have been issued in the last four years. A survey of 1,000 drivers revealed that 7% of motorists in the 18-24 age group do not wear seatbelts, and 16% of motorists break speed limits as a matter of course. Fourteen per cent of those surveyed even confessed that they do not think they are safe drivers.

25-34 year olds are the worst offenders when it comes to speeding, and drivers in Wales have more accidents than anywhere else - 22% of drivers in Wales have been involved in an accident, far more than the joint second worst accident spots of London and Scotland. Sixty per cent of road deaths take place on country roads, attributed to high speed driving on darker roads and the difficulty of seeing approaching hazards around bends in the road.

23% of men and 16% of women don't always use their indicators when they should.

With stricter driving tests, fewer and fewer learners are passing first time. Currently, 54% of men and 45% of women pass their driving test at the first attempt - except in Yorkshire and the Humber, which is considered the most difficult place to take a driving test. There, 12% of learners take at least four attempts at the test before finally receiving their licence. Northern Ireland is the easiest place to pass your driving test, with 66% of driver’s successful first time around.

However, it's not only about speeding and road behaviour. Very few of us carry out basic maintenance on our vehicle on a weekly basis, as recommended. Only 19% of men and 9% of women check their lights, oil and tyre pressure every week.

Despite all of these statistics, three quarters of 18-24 year olds claim that they are safe drivers, even though 23% of them have been involved in an accident in the last 12 months. Similar statistics show that nine out of ten 45-54 year olds consider themselves to be safe drivers, with 10% - possibly the same 10% who don't believe they are safe drivers - having been in an accident in the last year.

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