More than four in five motorists have attempted to drive through amber lights, putting road safety at risk, a study shows.
According to Thrifty Car & Van Rental company, 85% of the 3,000 drivers polled said they have raced to beat an amber signal before it went red.
The firm, which dubbed such drivers "amber gamblers", said more than a third (35%) were not aware they were breaking the law in doing so.
The proportion of young drivers - those aged 17 - taking such risks was as high as 88%, the study found.
Four in 10 respondents rarely follow the amber command to stop, while 16% consider it much the same as a green signal.
The risks associated with such behaviour are highlighted by the fact that 13% have or nearly have been in an accident when driving through an amber light.
Half of the amber gamblers have been yelled at by their passengers, while more than a quarter have angered other drivers who have responded by swearing or yelling.
Motorists in Essex were most likely to come across amber gamblers, followed by those in Leeds, Coventry, Liverpool and Brighton.
A third of drivers said they ignored amber lights because they were pressed for time, 27% were hurrying to work, and 7% believed they were doing other motorists a favour.
Copyright © Press Association 2011