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Press Room

Brits Risk Accidents Through Careless Driving
(01 August 2006)

Road rules and driving advice is largely ignored according to recent research from NatWest Car Insurance. The research found that, whilst legal requirements such as not drink driving (94%) and not talking on a mobile phone whilst driving (79%) were likely to be followed, general advice such as taking a break from driving every two hours (39%), not eating and drinking whilst driving (40%) and keeping two chevrons apart (61%), was largely forgotten.

Age plays a large part in Brits ability to follow road rules. Whilst 70% of those respondents over the age of 55 keep two chevrons away from the car in front, only 45% of those under the age of 24 do. Similarly, 35% of those under the age of 24 admit to talking on their mobile phone whilst driving, compared with only 2% over the age of 55.

Common mistakes made by drivers include leaving the car unlocked (35%), forgetting where the car is parked (31%), running out of petrol (23%), going the wrong way down a slip road (7%) and amazingly 2% have even fallen asleep in a traffic jam.

A quarter of respondents also admit that they regularly suffer from road rage, particularly those under the age of 24 (37%). The most common causes of road rage include being cut up by another driver (83%), people not paying attention (81%), people driving too close (65%), middle lane huggers (56%) and traffic jams (28%).

Surprisingly, road rage was most prevalent in Scottish motorists (30%), with their biggest gripe being people not paying attention when driving. Those respondents in the North West however, were more relaxed with only 21% admitting to suffering from road rage.

Bob Trinder, Head of NatWest General Insurance Marketing, said: "It is clear from this research that for their own safety, drivers need to pay attention to advice and road rules. Driving safely is paramount. Many accidents, road rage incidents and subsequent insurance claims could be avoided by simply adhering to rules such as staying two chevrons away from the car in front and not talking on a mobile phone whilst driving."

Notes to Editors:

  • The research was carried out by TNS from 18th – 25th May 2006.
  • A representative sample of 2349 people were surveyed.
  • Products are underwritten by UK Insurance Ltd, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.