Fleet News

Safety concerns top RAC report

The RAC’s influential Report on Motoring 2007, Driving Safely? is described as the most comprehensive study of its kind. Here are some key findings:

MOTORING AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

The study found that although support and understanding of the “green agenda” is growing among motorists this is not yet translated into action.

Just 37% of motorists consider CO2 emissions when buying a new car and 45% say they will only take account of environmental issues once they see people doing the same.

A total of 66% said they would buy a more environmentally-friendly car if tax incentives were better.

MOTORING REVENUES:

Motorists were found to be generally sceptical about the government’s use of motoring revenues.

Almost one in three believe that most driving offences are there to generate money for the Treasury, rather than to improve safety.

REDUCING TRAFFIC:

The majority of motorists (57%) want tough action on congestion but a big difference was found between recognising the problem and achieving a solution.

Opposition to road pricing was found to be high. Only 30% of respondents support the principle while 75% believe it to be ineffective at reducing traffic, saying it shifts the problem elsewhere.

DRIVERS’ CONCERNS ABOUT MOTORING:

Driving and safety are by far the greatest areas of concern for most motorists, ahead of congestion, cost, the number of cars on the road and the environment.

The biggest concern is the behaviour of other motorists, particularly those driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Drivers believe that cars and authorities have made roads safer, not motorists themselves.

SAFETY & TECHNOLOGY:

A total of 86% of motorists believe more safety features on cars, such as airbags, seatbelts and ABS, have had the single biggest impact on road safety.

More than 90% of drivers can perform basic safety checks on their cars.

Almost 60% of drivers believe in-car technology makes driving safer, with 71% saying the complexity of modern cars means motorists need to be shown how to use safety features for them to have any impact.

SPEEDING:

The study says that Britain’s drivers need constant reminders of the risks of driving at an inappropriate speed.

Speeding is the most common unsafe driving behaviour, with around half of motorists admitting that they sometimes speed, even though it is regarded as unsafe behaviour.

It also represents the most common motoring offence – 16% of those surveyed have been convicted of speeding in the past five years.

HARDER POLICIES AND TOUGHER PENALTIES:

National road safety targets should be unpacked into specific localised targets that reflect local concerns and priorities.

The study found a deep-rooted willingness to accept limited constraints to improve road safety and 59% of drivers think deaths should be cut by at least half.

Motorists want harder policies on drink and drug driving.

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