Concentrate on the commute

More than one in four of all drivers in the UK have been involved in an accident on their way to work, according to a new poll by the Institute of Advanced Motorists. What’s more, nearly one in three have had a near miss on the same run inside the last 12 months.

We all wake up bleary-eyed and on auto pilot on the odd occasion, but the latest stats from the IAM prove that you can’t afford to travel to work with other things on your mind.

The survey took in the experiences of commuters travelling to and from jobs also found that a staggering 98% of motorists felt they were exposed to negligent drivers on their journeys, 40% of them frequently.

It’s easy to slip into thoughts of the day or evening ahead on your daily 9am or 5pm drive, but vigilance at the wheel is such an important point – exemplified by 45% of drivers admitting they’d made a mistake that made them fear for their safety in the last year.

Sometimes though, it’s not just a lack of concentration that is the cause – many drivers on the nation’s roads simply lack a basic level of knowledge and road craft. So what can be done to improve driving standards among the commuter crowd?

45% of respondents to the IAM’s survey say they would like their employer to provide support for them to improve their driving. Now that doesn’t mean free track days for all, but further driver training and clear company policy on circumstances in which employees shouldn’t make that journey.

IAM Head of Training, Simon Elstow:

“Company driving policy needs to make it clear that while employees should plan their journey to be on time, if they are going to be late they shouldn’t rush, take risks or use a handheld mobile device on the move. Traffic is unpredictable, and drivers shouldn’t feel forced to drive dangerously for fear of punishment.”

Next time you find yourself daydreaming behind the wheel or ready to pull a risky overtake, think again.