A year after major changes to the Highway Code, millions of drivers are still unsure of some of the new laws, according to a new survey.
An Aviva Quotemehappy Connect study of 1,500 UK drivers found that less than one in five knew what had changed. The changes that were published in January 2022 gave more rights to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, especially when cars are turning and overtaking. The results of this survey also show that drivers should update their knowledge of the Highway Code.
Drivers were asked 12 questions about the Highway Code, and only three of the 1,500 surveyed answered every question correctly. Most drivers aged 55 and over got 7 questions right, and 46% of drivers over 55 thought they knew the Highway Code well. Two thirds of drivers aged under 25 said they were confident in their knowledge of the Code, but this was not reflected in the survey, where 5 out of 12 was the most popular score in the 17-24 age range.
91% of motorists said they were confident in their ability to drive safely and efficiently. More than three quarters (76%) were confident they would pass a practical driving test if they took it today, and almost two thirds (65%) felt they would pass a driving theory test.
Amongst the changes to the Highway Code that came into force a year ago include:
• Cars must give way to pedestrians intending to cross the road into which they are turning or are turning from
• Cyclists can ride wherever they feel safest, even if that is in the middle of the road
• Drivers must wait for cyclists to pass and treat as if the cyclist is a motor vehicle
• The ‘Dutch Reach’ technique should be used when drivers open their car door in order to better see cyclists
“It’s important that people know the rules of the roads,” said Matthew Washer, head of connected motors at Aviva. “This latest research demonstrates that people aren’t always up to speed with the latest Highway Code changes, so we’d encourage them to review their knowledge on a regular basis, so they know how to stick to the rules when behind the wheel.”