RAC Report on Motoring 2019 reveals concerns among business drivers

Four-in-10 drivers have witnessed another motorist being physically abused according to the wide-ranging survey

The RAC has launched the 2019 edition of the Report on Motoring online, which highlights some worrying findings among business drivers about behaviours on the roads.  

More than a third of motorists who drive for business (36%) say they have personally witnessed some form of physical abuse related to a driving incident in the past 12 months, research for the report has found.*

And, more than half (60%) of the 737 motorists who drive for business and were surveyed for the study* – claim to have seen verbal abuse dished out to another motorist this year, while 61% of drivers say they see a greater number of road-rage incidents now than they did 10 years ago.

What’s more, UK drivers are now so fearful of the dangers posed by other motorists that a quarter (25%**) say their top motoring-related concern this year is some form of illegal, anti-social or dangerous behaviour on the part of other drivers – behaviour that has the potential to put the lives of all other road users at serious risk.

Dangerous behaviour on the roads that has been flagged up include drivers breaking traffic laws such as speeding, tailgating, middle-lane hogging, running red lights or ignoring signs, as well as texting at the wheel, drink-driving and road rage.

A closer look at some of the data reveals some shocking behaviour.

While aggression at the wheel poses significant levels of danger, the use of mobile phones by other drivers can be just as life-threatening – if not more so.

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However, the RAC’s research shows there remains a significant hardcore of motorists who admit to using their phones without hands-free kits while at the wheel, despite the stronger penalties that were introduced in 2017.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Two-fifth (41%) of drivers from this group confess to making or receiving calls on a handheld phone while they are driving at least occasionally - compared to 23% of all UK drivers.
  • Meanwhile, 34% of drivers from the same group say they check texts, email or social media while driving, despite the heightened level of risk involved in looking away from the road for seconds at a time.
  • Just 14% of business drivers follow the official government advice to put their phone in their glove compartment while driving

 

In addition, a significant number of people appear happy to take the risk of driving with alcohol in their systems with one in ten of these drivers (12%) admitting they think or know they have driven while over the drink-drive limit in the past 12 months, either shortly after having a drink, or the morning after drinking.

The RAC’s road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said: “All the fears associated with the behaviour of other drivers on the road have never featured as highly in our research as top motoring concerns as they have this year.

“Drivers using handheld mobile phones, drink-driving, drug-driving and breaking traffic laws remained as number-one concerns for similar proportions of motorists to last year’s research. This means people must have experienced some very disturbing aggressive behaviour on the UK’s roads in the last year for them all to rank in top spot together.

“The most likely explanation must surely be a combination of factors including the pressure of modern life, reliance on the car for so many journeys, record volumes of traffic and congestion leading to never before seen frustration at the wheel.”

 

* Research for the RAC Report on Motoring 2019 was carried out by Quadrangle. In total, 737 motorists were surveyed between 23 May and 3 June 2019 who were either company car drivers, or who drove for business using their own car