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How Safe Are UK Drivers?

We take a look at the latest findings from a survey of UK drivers, to find out just how safe us Brits are on the road in 2015.

Sep 15, 2015

September is well and truly here which means we are all adjusting to darker mornings, colder weather and – as always – more weekday traffic. The school run and students going back to university means that our roads are busier than ever, and it’s doing no good for driving safety.

In a 2015 survey by BestCarFinder, they brought some shocking stats to light about UK driving behaviour. It looks like despite the rise in speed cameras, speed bumps and regulatory measures to clamp down on fatal accidents, us Brits are becoming more impatient on the roads and will resort to reckless driving to get from A to B.

One aspect of unsafe driving that featured a lot in this study was speeding. In 2013 alone, 3,064 people in the UK were killed or seriously injured in car accidents where speeding was heavily involved. You would think that the high fatality risk associated with speed would discourage drivers, but this clearly isn’t the case. Over the last four years, £45 million worth of speeding fines were issued in the UK.

Here are some more findings from 1000 UK adults, when they were asked questions about how safely they drive.

- 7% of 18-24 years olds never wear a seatbelt
- 16% of drivers admitted they exceed speed limits every day
- 23% of drivers aged 18-24 have been involved in a road accident in the past year

Whether it’s down to impatience, an increase in traffic, too many rules and legislation on the road, or just a love of taking risks, those in the 18-34 category are the biggest culprits for speeding and driving in an unsafe way. Those in the 45-54 category seem to be much safer drivers though, with only 10% of them having been involved in a road accident in the past year.

Another interesting aspect of the survey was UK drivers’ attitude towards car maintenance. Driving an unchecked or poorly maintained vehicle is another cause of road accidents, yet 81% of men and 91% of women questioned don’t check things like tyre pressure, lights or oil on a weekly basis – as recommended by service experts.

If you are one of these people and don’t feel that you have the time or knowledge to do a maintenance check on your car, we recommend that you visit your local Sandicliffe service centre. We can carry out professional and free Visual Health Checks (VHC) on 32 key components of your Ford, Mazda, Kia, Nissan or Skoda to give you peace of mind that your car is fit for the road.

On the bright side, indicating isn’t so much of a problem (according to those surveyed). 77% of men and 84% of women claim to always use their indicators, with only 2% admitting to never using them.

What’s being done to improve driving safety?
The UK still isn’t known as a generally dangerous place to drive when compared with other countries, and our Government is always looking for new ways to cut the risk of fatality by unsafe driving. More speed cameras, harsher penalties and new laws are consistently being reinforced. For example a new law to crack down on drug driving will leave you with a criminal record, loss of licence and a fine of up to £5000 if caught. Police are also getting more access to specialist screening equipment to test UK drivers for drugs and alcohol.

Another way that authorities are trying to improve driver safety in the UK is to make driving tests harder. This 2015 survey found that Yorkshire and the Humber is the most difficult place to pass your test, with 12% of people having to retake it 4 times before passing. This move should mean that new drivers are more experienced and skilled, and hopefully less likely to drive irresponsibly.

To get a more black and white picture of how safe UK drivers are, take a look at the infographic below created by BestCarFinder.

What do you think about these statistics? Are UK drivers as unsafe in 2015 as they sound? 

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