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Road Safety Week survey shows speeding and distracted drivers most feared

Drivers who are speeding or distracted are seen to be the biggest threats on our roads, a new survey has found.

Driver holding mobile phone

More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents to the Brake survey ranked speeding or distraction as the biggest threats on our roads

Carried out by Brake, Aviva and Specsavers to mark the start of Road Safety Week 2016 (21-27 November), the survey asked 1,000 drivers to identify which driving behaviour, from a list of six, they thought posed the biggest danger. More than three-quarters (76%) ranked speeding or distraction most highly while almost one in five drivers (18%) thinks drink and drug-drivers are the biggest threat.

Only three in 100 respondents (3%) consider vehicle emissions to be the biggest threat faced. Just 1% ranked not wearing a seat belt wearing as the biggest danger and 2% rated poor vision as the biggest risk.

The Road Safety Week survey also asked drivers which risks they would admit to taking on the roads themselves. Nearly eight in 10 (79%) admitted to taking risks. Almost two thirds (63%) confessed to sometimes speeding. More than four in 10 drivers (45%) admitted they drive distances that they could easily walk. Nearly one in eight (13%) admitted to driving while distracted and nearly one in 10 (9%) confessed to not wearing a seat belt or their passengers not wearing a seat belt.

In response, Brake, Aviva and Specsavers are calling on everyone to sign the Brake Pledge in Road Safety Week. The Pledge aims to raise awareness of the importance of drivers staying slow (drive under speed limits), silent (never make or take calls, read or type), sober (never drive after any alcohol, or illegal or impairing drugs), sharp (stay focussed and don’t drive tired or with a health condition that impairs you. Get eyes tested every two years), secure (make sure everyone is belted up correctly) and sustainable (don’t use a car if you have the option to walk or cycle or can use public transport).

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “Road Safety Week’s theme is action-orientated. Anyone can make and share the Brake Pledge – individuals, businesses and community organisations. Our survey shows that drivers are aware of the threat of risky behaviour by other drivers, but are inclined to play down the riskiness of their own behaviours. Everyone who drives has to step up and take responsibility.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.