A new report by Hitachi Capital shows nine in 10 drivers consider themselves to be “safer than most” despite 95% of crashes being caused by driver error.
Speeding, adjusting the satnav, using handheld mobiles, driving under the influence and being overconfident are just some of the driver habits identified in the report.
Two-thirds of respondents (66%) acknowledge they have broken the speed limit more than once in the past 2 – 3 months and nearly one in ten (9%) said they had used their mobile when driving. Over one third (34.3%) conceded to driving when their mind was distracted or thinking about personal matters.
With 87% of respondents having witnessed an accident or near-miss on the roads in the last year, the report highlights the need for better awareness around driving behaviour.
Jon Lawes, managing director of Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, said: “There is a clear link between the bullish attitude most people have towards their own ability behind the wheel and the chances they take when out on the road. The vast majority of drivers are highly confident in their own abilities, despite admitting to a whole host of dangerous habits.
“We need better education targeted towards changing driver attitudes and helping people understand what really constitutes safe driving. By challenging attitudes, we can address those behaviours that have resulted in the first annual rise in UK road casualties for 17 years and, in so doing, improve the standards on our roads and motorways.”
The findings also present Britain as a nation of quick-tempered drivers. Almost four in 10 respondents (38%) admit to having shouted at another road user, showing British road rage is very much alive.
A further 84% of respondents admitted to getting annoyed with other road users over matters such as lane hogging and getting stuck behind slower vehicles.
Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions is encouraging organisations to implement stronger risk management programmes to encourage safer driving.
Any individual driver or organisation operating a fleet also has a responsibility to ensure that every vehicle is safe through regular servicing and maintenance.