A new survey into the biggest road safety threats by IAM RoadSmart has found that social media addicts are considered the biggest danger to other road users.
More than 90% of the 2,000 motorists surveyed noted the dangers posed by road users attempting to access or update social media profiles at the wheel as a serious issue. Meanwhile almost two-thirds (64%) of the drivers surveyed said the problem of drug-driving has increased in the last three years.
Other serious dangers to the safety of other road users noted in the survey included having conversations on mobile phones (89%), speeding on residential streets (87%), drivers ignoring red lights (87%) and tired drivers (86%). The report quizzed respondents about their own driving habits, with only one-in-seven prepared to admit to driving quicker than most other road users.
Meanwhile the issue of speed limits revealed that the majority of road users have minimal tolerance, with 50% of drivers believing it to be unacceptable to drive 10mph faster than the speed limit on a motorway. More than three-quarters (76%) said it is unacceptable to drive more than 5mph above the speed limit on residential roads, while 90% said it was wrong to drive more than 5mph above the speed limit near schools.
The report also indicates support for drivers to continue to refine their driving skills and experience by taking advanced driving tuition and tests. Since IAM RoadSmart kick-started its road safety culture survey, the figure of drivers believing advanced driving lessons to be essential has increased from 61% in 2015 to 68% in 2017.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research, IAM RoadSmart, said: “In the three years we have been running this survey, people’s worries about drivers using new smartphone technology have remained consistently high.
“And, while public awareness of the dangers of using handheld mobile phones is now good, almost 60% of drivers still believe it is acceptable to use a hands-free phone despite growing evidence of the distraction this can cause.
“With three years of data there are several other trends emerging which do cause us some concern.
“Around a quarter of drivers still feel it is acceptable to speed at 5mph over the limit in residential areas and one-in-ten- believe it is alright to get behind the wheel after taking alcohol and marijuana.
“These figures show we have a long way to go before all the dangers caused by reckless driver behaviour are eradicated from our streets.
“Road safety activities have suffered from recent public spending cuts but our survey shows that key issues still remain that must be tackled through education, training and publicity.”