Fleet News

Driving standards hit all-time low, suggests poll

The past five years have seen new driving rules, laws and practices put into place, yet it seems that the vast majority of drivers feel that driving standards have in fact deteriorated.

A poll has revealed that over the past five years, around 90% of drivers feel that general driving standards have got worse. This is despite a number of recent schemes which have been put in place to improve road safety.

One of the most recent and high-profile campaigns has been a new 20mph speed limit in residential roads and is being implemented now. It was thought this would help to deter speeding and therefore reduce fatalities, but recent statistics by the Institute of Advanced Motorists have shown this is not quite the case, suggests Alternative Route Finance.

In fact, the number of serious accidents on roads with speed limits of 20mph has actually increased over the past year. In the roads where the speed limit was changed, serious crashes have been seen to increase by 26% to 420 and accidents causing slight injury rose by 17%.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “If we’re going to reduce the speed of traffic it would appear we perhaps need to do more than just put signposts up.

“Traffic calming measures will slow speed of traffic down. Once you’ve done that it doesn’t matter what the limit is because if the road will only allow the traffic to travel at 20mph the limit itself becomes academic.”

Natasha Colyer, from Alternative Route Finance, a vehicle leasing company in Brighton, asked Keith Baldock, Road Safety Officer Brighton and Hove City Council his views on the poll.

He agreed that road signs are not enough and spoke of the council’s campaign ‘Share the Roads, Share the Responsibility’. “This campaign encourages all road users to minimise risk by not getting distracted by physical devices or emotional/busy life factors,” he said.

He reiterated that distraction plays a huge part in driving fatalities and although accidents in the last couple of months have been reduced in the Brighton and Hove area, work still needs to be done.

Nevertheless, road deaths are currently at the lowest annual total since records began. Last year, although there was 1,713 killed on the roads, this was down 2% from 2012, and serious injuries on the road was down 6%- all despite the fact that traffic has increased by 0.4%.

The total of motorway deaths today, when compared to the average number of deaths between 2005-2009, have almost halved - decreasing by a 41%.

According to Government statistics, 2013 saw the least amount of road deaths since records began in 1926, with statistics showing that fatalities have fallen at an average of 2% year on year.

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