Easing of lockdown highlights erratic and discourteous driving behaviour – survey
For those who have had to use their vehicles throughout the lockdown period, it has been a welcome change on the roads, with less traffic and fewer jams and hold-ups. But now lockdown is being eased, it appears that old, bad habits are raising their ugly heads once again as motorists appear to have become ruder and inconsiderate.
Results from a recent survey by Venson Automotive Solutions have highlighted a rise in negative driver behaviour, with 55 per cent of people surveyed believing that there has been an increase in speeding by road users- something that Venson believes fleet managers and company car drivers need to keep in mind as they head back out on to the roads for business. Indeed, speeding remains the UK’s top driving offence, as more than 2.3million drivers are fined each year for speeding.
In May this year, the National Police Chiefs Council launched a new speed enforcement operation to counter the surge in speeding offences under lockdown.
The penalties for speeding can mean a £100 spot fine and three penalty points and in severe cases, drivers can be prosecuted and taken to court. Where drivers have exceeded 100mph the penalty could increase to six points and they could face a temporary driving ban.
As well as speeding, the Venson survey brought to light an increase in other discourteous and potentially dangerous habits. Less use of indicators by other vehicle drivers was mentioned by 41 per cent of people surveyed, 38 per cent pointed out an increase in drivers not adhering to recommended distances between cars on motorways and 31 per cent commented on general erratic driving behaviour.
35 per cent of people said that they believed that generally all road users – including cars, vans and bicycles had become more discourteous.
Simon Staton, Client Management Director at Venson commented; “When there was less traffic on the road during lockdown, other drivers took the opportunity to be ‘king of the road’ with less thought for fellow road users. Now, with traffic on the roads getting back to pre-Covid-19 levels, motorists need to be more vigilant so that inconsiderate driving behaviours don’t cause incidents that result in inconvenience or worse, for other drivers.”
“For company car or van drivers, penalty points and the possibility of losing their licence is serious enough but if a vehicle is being driven erratically or dangerously and is displaying the organisation’s logo or name, it can have an immediate impact on the perception of that business by other road users and pedestrians. Fleet managers need to ensure that there is adequate driver training and support for employees who drive company vehicles, with clear guidelines to make certain that drivers have enough time to complete their journeys safely.”