Over 86% of UK motorists think distraction caused by mobile phones has become worse in the last three years. In second place was congestion at 81%, reflecting the increasing number of vehicles on our roads as the recession ends. These figures come from the second Safety Culture Survey, commissioned by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart.
Of the 2,000 UK drivers surveyed, nearly three quarters believed aggressive driving (72%) had worsened over the last three years, with more than 60% reporting the same for drug-driving.
IAM RoadSmart’s Safety Culture Survey was produced for the first time last year, and looks at UK motorists’ safety attitudes and behaviour and has just been updated for 2016. The survey asked about the potential car driving problems faced by motorists now compared with three years ago. It also asked about perceived threats to personal safety whilst driving; support for potential new regulations and other aspects of motoring life in the 2010’s.
Huge numbers of UK drivers believe the dangers of mobile phones and technology are bigger threats than any other factor on the roads. 94% saw drivers checking or updating social media as a threat to their personal safety, while 93% said that was the case for drivers text messaging or e-mailing, and for 91% it was the case for drivers talking on mobile phones.
This was higher than the perceived threat from drink and drug driving. Some 89% of those surveyed felt people driving after drinking alcohol was a threat to their safety, compared with 88% who felt that about those who took illegal drugs and then drove.
Sarah Sillars, of IAM RoadSmart, said: “The worries and concerns of Britain’s 32 million drivers should be listened to. Whilst we can all take more responsibility for our actions, it is clear that distraction and congestion are the two biggest bug bears for drivers today.”
Sillars added: “It is important that the Government, road safety bodies and car makers work together to allay the fear caused by distracted drivers. Recent tragic high profile cases underline the need for a combination of education, safe design and enforcement to make sure that the high-tech benefits of our modern cars do not prove a threat to the safety of all road users.”