Motorists’ biggest fear is other drivers on the road

What is a driver’s biggest fear? 14 million motorists point the finger at each other.

What’s your biggest fear on the roads? Wet weather? Animals? How about your fellow drivers?

As many as a third of UK motorists admit their biggest concern on the road is actually the dangerous or illegal actions of other drivers.

An RAC study revealed that speeding, tailgating, drink driving and other antisocial behaviours scare drivers more than anything else.

However, many of those questioned also admit to driving illegally themselves.

Mobile phones

The use of mobile devices while driving remains one of the top concerns, with 12% citing this as their number one worry. Nearly twice as many drivers though, admit to using their phones while behind the wheel.

Up to 23% of motorists say they occasionally use their phone to make or receive phone calls while driving, while 17% check texts, emails or social media.

Young drivers were found to be the most likely to commit the offence, with half of 17-24-year-olds admitting to making or receiving calls on the road. Under 25s are also the most likely to admit drink-driving offences, with 45% saying they know, or have thought themselves to be over the limit while driving.

RAC 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.”

Aggressive behaviour

Acts of road rage were found to be a rising concern for motorists. RAC data shows the number of drivers feeling threatened by aggressive or antisocial behaviour on the roads has doubled in the last year, with 8% of motorists now naming this as their top concern.

Antisocial behaviour includes tailgating, swearing and making rude gestures at other motorists. These offences all hold penalties of £70 and three points if caught.

Simon Williams commented: “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.

“Perhaps it is also the case that our tolerance of other people who make mistakes while driving is falling. A quick sorry in the form of an apologetic wave could go a long way to taking the heat out of a situation, but unfortunately all too often it is a hand gesture of another sort that leads to an unpleasant car confrontation.”

Recently passed your driving test? Check out our top safety tips for young drivers, to help you stay safe behind the wheel.


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