Study Shows Drivers Naive to Most Dangerous Driving Offences

In the UK, the minimum age to drive is currently 17 years old. There have been talks to increase this to 18 years due to younger drivers being involved in over 22% of traffic fatalities.

Driving comes with a range of responsibilities, which is why it’s a licensed activity. However, like any activity, driving is never that simple. There are still individuals who do not follow the rules of the road, endangering other drivers and pedestrians.

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Image via John Webber/CC 2.0

Dangerous Driving

We conducted a survey recently to find out just what the public considered the most dangerous driving offences. The list was as follows:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Ignoring traffic lights/road signage
  • Mobile devices
  • Smoking/eating
  • Driving too fast/too slowly
  • Dangerous overtaking/undertaking

Let’s take a look at the results:

  • Driving under influence:67%
  • Ignoring Traffic Lights: 10%
  • Mobile Devices: 9%
  • Driving Too Fast: 5%
  • Smoking/Eating: 2%
  • Driving Too Slowly: 2%
  • Dangerous Overtaking: 2%

Interesting right? Whilst you would expect people to rate driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol quite high on the list, it’s quite fascinating to note almost 70% of the respondents chose it as such a priority offence over others on the list.

Breaking down some of the lower offences, 70% of people admit to eating behind the wheel, yet only 2% of people surveyed consider this to be dangerous. The same percentage accounted for ‘dangerous’ overtaking/undertaking manoeuvres.

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Image via John Webber/CC 2.0

Speeding

Whilst using mobile devices in cars is seeing a lot of news at the moment, it’s still not the highest cause of traffic fatalities. Despite being voted as the third most dangerous driving offence, 2012 saw only 17 deaths as a result of using mobile devices.

Still shocking certainly, but compare this to speeding. Whilst only 5% of respondents rated this as the most dangerous offence, it shows people gravely underestimate the hazard it represents.

Currently, fatalities caused by speeding number approximately 400 people on an annual basis. Driving under the influence actually accounts for less fatalities, at around 300 deaths each year.

Speeding is definitely an offense that needs to be taken much more seriously as a driving offence. A reduction in speeding will have an effect on the death rate. Logically, less speeding will lead to less deaths, leading to much safer roads. It’s important not to focus on only drink driving, but to maintain a well-rounded campaign to make drivers aware of all the main motoring offences.

Final Note

The respondents were also asked to voice their opinions on other offences which they dislike. There were a wide range of offences, including tailgating, not using indicator lights and being overtired.

Whilst everyone may have their own preference as to driving frustrations, it’s important to never forget the inherent dangers that the main driving offences can cause to road users and pedestrians. The road is a dangerous arena and knowing the risks can help you become a much better (and safer) driver.


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