Almost half of drivers developed dangerous habits during lockdown

Almost half of drivers developed dangerous habits during lockdown
Lockdown appears to have taken its toll on our collective road sense, with 44% of motorists admitting to picking up dangerous driving habits over the past year.

In a survey of 1,500 UK motorists, more than one in five (22%) say they now frequently – and dangerously – steer one-handed. Another 15% admit they drive 'far too quickly', while 12% say they are more easily distracted behind the wheel.

Back in November, Government data showed the number of speeding drivers increased by 7% during the first lockdown

This most recent poll from Nextbase found an alarming 14% have 'completely forgotten how to drive their car', while more than one-in-10 say they can’t remember a single thing from their driving theory test.

Nearly half (44%) feel trepidation about the prospect of hitting the road for a long journey again, with over a quarter (29%) pinpointing concerns around motorway driving.

Tony Greenidge, CEO of IAM RoadSmart, said: “It was inevitable that lockdown would leave many drivers and riders with confidence issues, stress and rusty skills due to their enforced break from the roads.

“With any skill you learn, you need to improve and refresh it to remain top of your game. Driving and riding [a motorcycle] is no different.”

These confidence issues are echoed in a separate survey by Seat, which found 24% of motorists are more nervous driving now than they were before the pandemic.

Of these, 44% say it’s a result of spending less time behind the wheel over the past year, with travel restrictions limiting the amount of mileage possible.

In the UK-wide poll of 2,000 people, 40% say they’ve travelled less than 2,500 miles since March 2020, compared with just 11% in the year before.

A further 42% are concerned about the return of high traffic volumes, while 26% worry their parking skills won’t be up to scratch. Drivers in London appear to have been affected the most by lockdowns, with 44% saying they’re more nervous about driving, the study shows.

John French, head of product at Seat UK, said: “For much of the past 14 months, millions of motorists across the UK have been confined to their local area, driving on roads they’re acquainted with.

“Now, following the lifting of most social distancing restrictions, drivers are once again navigating unfamiliar places and faced with high volumes of traffic, tight parking spaces and certain road types they’ve perhaps become unaccustomed to.”

RAC Breakdown research highlighted an uptick in confidence for driving to see friends and family during the late May bank holiday, with only (11%) not planning a trip because of the virus, down from a quarter over Easter.

How confident are you feeling on the roads? Leave a comment below if you've spotted any dodgy driving.

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