Is it time to get tougher on dangerous drivers?

Is it time to get tougher on dangerous drivers?

Something as simple as having a bite to eat whilst driving can be a distraction, it's seen as being in charge of a vehicle without due care and attention and that's why it is prohibited on UK roads. Yet due to the complacency of many drivers and certain things being socially accepted, such as having food at the wheel, drivers are constantly putting themselves and other road users at risk. Here Tori Atkinson, from The Car Loan Warehouse, asks if it's time to get tougher on drivers whose bad habits are putting all road users in danger.

It will come as no surprise that bad driving habits are still alive and well on the UK's roads. Whether it's people talking on their mobile or running red lights, nothing infuriates conscientious drivers more than the people who shirk their on-road responsibilities.

Reading this, you may be aware of some of your own worst driving habits - but, either way, there's no denying the facts and figures around the causes of motoring accidents. It's high time we put a stop to these frivolous and risky moves behind the wheel.

A new survey on dangerous driving has revealed some shocking new stats - highlighting that more than a quarter of Brits are guilty of speeding, driving while tired and eating and drinking behind the wheel. But what are the implications of these frightening figures?

The study of 5000 British drivers' bad habits found that over 25% of UK drivers break speed limits and drive while drowsy - and over 30% eat and drink on the road. This survey, conducted by The Car Loan Warehouse, shows us that eating and drinking while driving is the ultimate in-car epidemic endangering Britain's roads.

It may be that the laws around due care and attention while on the road aren't black and white enough. Nevertheless, common sense should dictate that any form of distraction while driving is a dangerous move to make, with eating and drinking behind the wheel frequently cited as a major cause of accidents.

In 2011, Brake shared figures on the road safety hazards linked with Britain's young drivers - for example, that young drivers were the most likely to use their phones while driving. While our crusade for safety consciousness on the road is very much ongoing, data like this further demonstrates that the war on reckless driving is far from over - with many of Britain's drivers still thinking they're above the law.

From a lax approach to fastening seatbelts to regular mobile phone use on the road, drivers across the UK are throwing out the road safety rulebook in favour of multitasking on the motorway.

Cutting corners of risking lives?

Brits have admitted to eating and drinking, using their phone and even doing some personal grooming while driving - so it looks like many of the UK's drivers would rather make their journeys as 'efficient' as possible rather than keep their eyes on the road.

The decision to prioritise convenience over road regulations suggests either an underlying lack of awareness as to the dangers these distractions create, or a fundamental disrespect for the safety of themselves and their passengers - as well as other drivers and pedestrians. Either way, the prognosis is bad.

Abandoning the battle for road safety

Road fatalities are an ongoing and increasing concern, not only for charities like ours but also government bodies and media outlets. In the face of this continuous coverage, however, Britain's drivers are failing to make safety consciousness a priority.

Speeding and neglecting to wear a seatbelt are two surprisingly common habits many British drivers have confessed to having - which begs the question: are our drivers being properly educated when it comes to the risks these reckless habits pose?

A war on reckless driving

In the aforementioned survey, some drivers admitted that a general sense of complacency was their worst driving habit. With so many Brits admitting to a variety of reckless road habits, it looks like complacency is the concentration killer endangering the lives of Britain's drivers and pedestrians.

As road safety continues to move to the forefront of the British consciousness, we can only hope that the UK's most shameful driving habits are soon to lose their socially acceptable status - taking a backseat to the responsibility of travelling with the safety of driver, passenger and pedestrian in mind.

Brake's Driving for Zero campaign is designed to minimise the distractions British drivers face and work towards a more safety conscious future for Britain's roads. Get involved to raise awareness by sharing the campaign on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, or explore your fundraising options to become an active part of the Drive Smart movement.

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Comments 1

Guest - eric roberts on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 12:34

Hi driving standards appear to be slipping in recent years? i think that it is due to the lack of law enforcement. Drivers are cutting through red lights and there in an increase in speeding. thanks eric roberts http://www.pellonautocentre.com/our-blog/

Hi driving standards appear to be slipping in recent years? i think that it is due to the lack of law enforcement. Drivers are cutting through red lights and there in an increase in speeding. thanks eric roberts www.pellonautocentre.com/our-blog/
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