Tuesday, 11 October 2016 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
We’ve been on a mission to find out the UK’s worst driving habits. Using our online ‘Confessions of the Road’ have you ever quiz, we tested the nation to find out if British drivers would admit to driving over the speed limit, using their phone behind the wheel, and even driving when they’ve been drinking.
The results are in from more than 2,500 respondents, and you might just be surprised who is the most dangerous driver on our roads.
Van drivers are the worst drivers…
…but not necessarily the kind you might expect. As part of the campaign, we set out to see if the white van man stereotype for terrible driving is justified. We were surprised to find that it’s partially true – but it’s women van drivers who are the most reckless on the road.
Boldly admitting to drink driving, speeding and using social media behind the wheel, the van driver stereotype might not have been shattered, but it’s certainly been updated. However, these van driving women weren’t the only drivers who confessed to a variety of driving sins…
Speeding most common type of dangerous driving
A whopping 94% of all respondents owned up to breaking the speed limit, with most saying they’ve done it occasionally. However, a surprising 13% admitted they break the limit regularly, with only 6% saying they never speed.
Other types of dangerous driving seemed to be more or less likely depending on gender. Women are much more likely to check their Facebook and Instagram accounts while driving, with a third confessing to doing so regularly. Women were also more likely to be impatient drivers, with 67% admitting they have run a red light. And they were the most likely to drive off after scratching someone’s car.
Men were no angels either. More than half said they regularly drove without wearing a seatbelt, while 44% admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol. Perhaps most shockingly (or infuriatingly), 70% of men said they don’t indicate before changing lanes, which no doubt leads to some scary near misses on the motorway.
A laughing matter?
Our ‘Confessions of the Road’ quiz is certainly meant to be light hearted, but with the results being so dramatic, it might be time for UK drivers to take their dangerous driving habits a little more seriously.
Penalties for careless driving can range from a £100 fine and three licence points for using a phone while driving, to a prison sentence for more serious offenses. That doesn’t seem to be enough to discourage our respondents, though.
Managing Director of Staveley Head, Ashley Peters, says:
“We were surprised by the results of the survey. As an insurer of thousands of commercial vehicles we know that the majority of drivers are extremely careful on the roads. However, of those who completed the survey, we did discover groups who admitted to speeding, using their phone while on the move and even potentially driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. It goes without saying that we would always recommend people take the upmost care behind the wheel and that they abide by all the laws of the road at all times.
Recently, the government announced new legislation which will double the points and fines given to those who use their phone whilst driving. The new legislation doesn’t come in to effect until next year; however we hope that by raising awareness of inappropriate driver behaviour we can help to make road users think twice about reaching for their phones on the road.”
New government legislation has recently been announced that will see the fine for using a handheld device while driving doubled to £200, and six points on the driver’s licence. Speeding currently has an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three points, but a larger fine of up to £2,500 can be issued at the officer’s discretion.
If you’re someone who regularly drives dangerously or breaks even minor laws when driving, remember insurance premiums rise with every conviction.
Try our ‘Confessions of the Road’ quiz to see how many driving sins you have committed in comparison to truckers, motorcyclists and ‘the UK’s most dangerous’ road users, female van drivers.