Our research uncovered some worrying trends and interesting insights into people’s attitudes towards road safety, in particular the safety of vulnerable, 17-24 year-old motorists.
As part of our On the Road safety campaign, run in association with the Driving Instructors Association and the road safety charity Brake, we've created some great resources, including our survey findings, Top Ten Young Drivers’ Safety Tips and a Car Essentials Checklist for new drivers.
Road Safety Facts - Did you know…
Protecting young and vulnerable road users
The very first time newly-qualified drivers use the motorway is after they’ve completed their driving test and been handed a full driving licence. But almost 90% of our survey respondents believed that motorway driving should form part of the test. Furthermore, almost 85% of people stated that the lesser-known “P” plate (signifying a ‘probationary’ driver) should be mandatory for newly-qualified drivers, demonstrating that a large percentage of the population believe we should be doing more to protect vulnerable young road users.
91% of survey respondents aged 17-24 indicated that the main distraction facing young drivers is using their mobile phone while driving. More than half of young drivers also indicated they’d been a passenger in a vehicle when the driver sent a text message using their mobile phone. This is both worrying and illegal, and it’s reassuring to see the recent announcement that the police will try to clamp down on drivers using mobile phones at the wheel.
66% of those aged between 17 and 24 also believed that listening to loud music was a major distraction to young drivers, while 53% also identified chatting to other passengers as diverting focus away from the road.
These worrying trends suggest that more education is needed to protect young drivers, who are potentially risking their own safety, as well as that of other road users and pedestrians every time they get behind the wheel.
Other findings revealed in the survey:
- 36% of people think the legal driving age should be raised.
- 70% of respondents think that drivers should be re-tested annually over a certain age.
- 71% of those people think that age should be 70
When ranking the most important features when buying a car, respondents indicated that fuel economy was their primary concern, followed by safety features, the car’s style and appearance, environmental impact and sound system.
When asked what were the weirdest things they’d seen other drivers doing while at the wheel, our survey respondents indicated:
- 22% have seen other drivers applying makeup at the wheel
- 16% have seen drivers reading, whether that’s books, newspapers or maps, while driving
- 13% have witnessed other drivers eating and/or drinking while driving
Further inappropriate driving behaviour including shaving, straightening hair, brushing teeth, taking selfies or driving with a dog on the driver’s lap were all reported by multiple respondents.
Download our infographics
Thousands of young drivers take to the road for the first time each day and form one of the most vulnerable groups of road users. See stats and information about young drivers' road safety with our Facing the Facts About Young Drivers infographic!
Excited about driving your first car? Before you get on the road, take a look at what every car owner should have on hand with our Car Checklist infographic!