Fleet News

Coronavirus: Drivers struggle after weeks of lockdown

Driver behind wheel of her car

Fleet managers are being warned that some drivers are finding it a struggle being behind the wheel after not having driven, in some instances, for several weeks.

New data suggests the issue could be affecting a fifth (18%) of motorists, with more than a quarter (28%) saying they had stalled their car and one in five (21%) reporting they had scraped their wheels on the kerb or forgotten to indicate.   

The survey of 2,000 drivers, carried out by Hyundai, also revealed that over the past 28 days the average driver has covered just 90 miles - with 30% driving 25 miles or fewer.

Four in 10 motorists said they hadn’t visited a filling station over the past 28 days, with 12% admitting they had forgotten which side or end they fill up or charge their car.

And, almost half (48%) of the motorists questioned said they were concerned that the standard of road users' driving will be worse now restrictions have started to be lifted.

More than four in 10 (44%) also think road users have been driving faster during lockdown, with just 10% thinking they have been driving more slowly.

The study follows numerous cases where police forces across the UK have spoken out about the standard of driving during lockdown.

In the first few weeks of the lockdown, Greater Manchester Police said it had caught 6,200 drivers breaking the speed limit since Monday, March 23. https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/car-industry-news/2020/04/23/coronavirus-thousands-of-drivers-caught-speeding

A freedom of information (FOI) request to all British police forces submitted by the RAC revealed 20 police forces reporting offenders travelling at speeds in excess of 100mph.

The worst incident of speeding during the first three weeks of the lockdown was recorded in West Yorkshire, with a driver clocked travelling at 151mph on the M62 motorway – 81mph over the speed limit. https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2020/06/01/speeding-driver-clocked-at-151mph-on-m62-during-lockdown

The second fastest speed recorded was on the A14 in Suffolk, where a motorist was clocked at 140mph.

However, according to the Hyundai survey, one third of the drivers surveyed said they have been driving more cautiously since the start of the pandemic, despite almost one in five (18%) saying they have had a near-miss with a cyclist.

More than four in ten (44%) surveyed by OnePoll for Hyundai admitted they were concerned about the prospect of an increase of cyclists on the road.

A spokesperson for Hyundai UK said: “Our research found that 45% of motorists have missed driving because of lockdown. Like with many things, there can be a few teething issues after a break and driving is no different. With a little care and practice though, I’m sure that motorists will soon get their confidence back behind the wheel.”

Top 10 errors made by drivers since lockdown 

  1. Stalled
  2. Struggled to parallel park
  3. Forgot to indicate
  4. Scraped wheels on kerb
  5. Had to think carefully about what each pedal does
  6. Not checking mirrors when pulling away
  7. Forgot where the filler cap was
  8. Forgot to turn the ignition key
  9. Not shut the door properly
  10. Not put their seatbelt on


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