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Drivers are prioritising fuel economy and responsible driving over sound systems and flashy paint jobs, according to new research from National Accident Helpline, the UK’s most experienced claims company.
It has emerged that the UK’s number one car-buying consideration is fuel economy*. This was followed by safety features, ahead of colour, style and appearance, which ranked as the third most important priority when choosing a car.
Over nine in ten (90%) respondents said they thought motorway driving should be part of the standard driving test and almost three quarters (73%) of those questioned also believed mandatory retests should be introduced for older drivers, with the majority proposing 70 as the age when retesting should begin. 85% of respondents also felt P-plates should be mandatory for newly-qualified drivers.
In a surprise finding, young drivers aged between 17-24 ranked safety features as their main priority, ahead of a good music system (5th place).
Despite these safety-conscious findings, the study still raised some concerns. 41% of drivers had been in a car where the driver had sent a text message at the wheel, and mobile use whilst driving was listed as the number one distraction amongst drivers.
National Accident Helpline recently partnered with the Driving Instructors Association and the road safety charity Brake, to remind young drivers of the importance of road safety. This survey formed part of the campaign, called On the Road: Start Safe. Stay Safe.
Russell Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer of National Accident Helpline, said:
“It’s heartening to see that drivers are taking an increasingly responsible view of driving. The prioritisation of sensible factors such as fuel economy and safety features ahead of ‘flashier’ considerations is certainly a trend that should be encouraged. However, despite these positives there is clearly still a lot of undesirable behaviour, such as using mobile phones at the wheel, which is a concern.
“There are no safety features that can fully compensate for individual error, so it is essential that all drivers, young and old, comply with the law and give their full attention to the road when driving to minimise the chance of an accident.”
*National Accident Helpline research of 1007 UK drivers, conducted between 10 June and 25 July using SmartSurvey.
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