Driving Standards slipping in the UK

Image of Motorhome on the RoadAs a motorhome owner you need to be especially courteous to other road users as your vehicle will generally take up more space than theirs and you will also take longer to manoeuvre or change lanes. This is why a number of motorhome owners take specialist courses which teach them how to drive their vehicles properly, stay safe on the road and avoid danger at all times. However, not all drivers are as courteous as others, as shown by a recent survey conducted by Auto Express.

According to the vehicle specialist, driving standards are slipping in the UK with ninety per cent of those surveyed saying that they believe drivers in general are getting worse. However, out of everyone who said that they believed driving standards were slipping only fifteen per cent admitted that their performance had dropped. What does this mean? Put simply, driving standards in the UK are getting worse however no-one is willing to take the blame or try and change.

Discussing the survey, Neil Greig, director of policy and research for the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), said: “These figures are no surprise to the IAM; everyone thinks it’s always the other person’s fault when it comes to driving standards. But we all have to take personal responsibility and can’t keep blaming the other party. We must also say the fear of worsening driving standards is at an all-time high – however, our roads have never been safer. If people want safer roads they should look at improving their own skills and standards.”

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, also supported our findings, and said: “Bad driving isn’t just annoying, it’s also the source of most accidents. Around three quarters of crashes have been because of human error. We all like to think the best of our own abilities, but perhaps we should take a good look at ourselves in the rear view mirror and realise that really none of us are perfect drivers.”

In total, Auto Express surveyed one thousand people and asked them whether they thought driving standards had worsened since 2009. Potentially, one of the reasons why so many people said that they think they have is because there has been a huge increase in the amount of road users in the past six years, meaning that traffic is worse as well as the ability to share the roads. To make matters worse, it is likely that there will be even more people using the UK’s roads in the future, which means that drivers need to start addressing their behaviour now.

Some may argue that it is the government or police’s duty to make sure that motorists are safe while on the road, however earlier this year it was revealed that even though a number of local councils had reduced speed limits on their roads to 20mph, accidents failed to decrease. This is why IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger believes that motorists need to take some responsibility instead of just blaming others. He added: “If we’re going to reduce the speed of traffic it would appear we perhaps need to do more than just put signposts up.

“Traffic calming measures will slow speed of traffic down. Once you’ve done that it doesn’t matter what the limit is because if the road will only allow the traffic to travel at 20mph the limit itself becomes academic.” Transport for London has also recently created a campaign to encourage London road users to be more respectful of each other which features television adverts showing various drivers in the midst of heated arguments.

Chris Macleod, marketing director at Transport for London, said: “Since the range and type of road users has grown over the years, we wanted to engage all of London’s travellers to make them stop and think. This campaign, with its different elements, should resonate personally with all individual road users and encourage them to ‘share the road’ not to compete for it.”

It seems as though motorists could learn a thing or two from motorhome owners, especially when it comes to courtesy on the road and knowing your limits. If you are confronted by a less than friendly driver next time you are out in your motorhome make sure you set them an example of a safe and careful driver that will probably not have to claim on their motorhome insurance anytime soon!

Photo by Christine Johnstone / CC BY-SA 2.0