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Executive summary

Bus lane signThere are over 30 million motorists in Britain today. This Report provides a snapshot of their attitudes and behaviour in 2010 with regard to their vehicles, the road network, Government transport policy, and other drivers. It is based on research from a sample of 1,150 British motorists.

There are a series of key findings in this year's Report which include:

  • The impression that motorists are becoming more inward-looking, as they disengage from national and global issues that are beyond their reach and focus on their local area and issues and behaviours they can control.
  • Despite increasing fuel costs, greater concern from motorists about the behaviour of other drivers than the cost of motoring; 97% were concerned about drunk or drugged drivers, 96% were concerned about mobile phone usage when driving, 95% were concerned about driving without tax or insurance.
  • A big increase in motorists breaking the law when it comes to mobile phone usage in their vehicles, with 28% using their mobile phone without a hands free kit, up from 8% last year, and 31% texting when driving, up from 11% last year.
  • The environment slipping even further down motorists' list of priorities, with 35% believing nothing they do will make a difference. Incentivising behaviour is effective, however, following the car scrappage scheme the average age of cars decreased to 5.5 years, a month younger than last year, and 74% say they would buy a more environmentally-friendly new car if the tax incentives were better.
  • The impact of the recession being reflected in the cars motorists are driving, with fewer 4x4s, and luxury or sports cars on the road. There is a growing interest in electric vehicles, with more education needed on cost and range before they can become a viable mainstream option.
  • With the number of male drivers over 70 doubling and female drivers tripling over the next 20 years there is strong support for compulsory medical checks for motorists aged 70 and beyond from 69% of motorists, but opposition to measures that restrict their driving.
  • Motorists are aggrieved with the state of roads where they live. Some 88% of motorists think their local roads are getting noticeably worse, and 86% of motorists are sceptical that enough of their motoring taxes are reinvested into local roads.

Exec Breaker - Local roads getting worse



RAC Story Booth: British motorists tell us what they think

Foreword by Sir Sterling Moss