According to a study unveiled by IAM – Instiute of Advaned Motorists, five percent of motorists still do not use the seatbelts.
One in 20 drivers at junctions could have been thrown forward or through the windscreen if they had to make an emergency stop, the AA’s army of volunteer Streetwatchers has found.
Observing junctions and roundabouts across the country, AA Streetwatchers logged 40,000 vehicles and found 4.92% of drivers not to be wearing seatbelts. This represents the biggest-ever street survey of driver behaviour carried out in the UK.
If drivers had smashed into the back of the car in front, it may not have been entirely their fault as nearly one in 25 (3.6%) of cars had broken brake lights. However, 9.57% were judged to be going too fast while negotiating the junctions and would have made a collision even worse.
The use of hand-held phones while driving was better than most AA members expected. A complementary AA/Populus poll, responded to by 11,548 members, found that 83% expected to see 5% of drivers using a hand-held phone, while AA Streetwatchers observed only 0.23% to be doing so at the junctions.
Again a difference emerged with cars considered to be going too fast. Nearly two thirds of AA members in the poll believed that more than 20% of cars at a junction near their home would be driving too fast.
However, the AA Streetwatchers reported only half that level at 10 per cent of vehicles going too fast.
Perception followed reality more closely with seat belts. The observed 4.92% of drivers not wearing seat belts was predicted by 36% of AA members in the member’s poll, with another 34% expecting the problem to be worse. Twelve per cent of observers witnessed some action they deemed to be road rage. Whilst there were some worrying trends, overall most drivers were reported to be acting responsibly.
Top line figures from Streetwatch Survey
Vehicles not indicating 33%
Appear to be going too fast 9.57%
Not using seatbelts 4.92%
Faulty brake lights 3.6%
Using mobile phones 0.23%