Do we drive as safely as we think?
45% of people consider themselves a very safe driver and 55% think they drive safely most of the time, according to an AA survey.1But 1 in 25 drivers in Great Britain has penalty points on their licence.2
Only 1% of people think that everyone else is a safe driver, while 1 in 5 think there are more unsafe drivers than safe drivers. But no-one we asked classed themselves as an unsafe driver.
It seems that we find it harder to spot our own unsafe driving habits than unsafe driving in others.
Are we guilty of driving dangerously?
Two thirds of the drivers we polled admitted to driving while tired. Drivers are more aware of the dangers of drink and drug driving, but driving when tired can be fatal. 1 in 50 accidents last year were attributed to driver fatigue.3
More than half of drivers admit they eat while driving, which could also be dangerous. It can count as careless driving if it distracts you and police think you're not in proper control of your car.
The dangers of using a phone behind the wheel
A common bad habit that drivers admit to is using their phone while driving.
- 6% of drivers said they're most distracted by setting directions on a phone or sat nav while driving.
- 5% admit calling on a handheld mobile phone.
- 3% admit to texting behind the wheel.
Those drivers may not realise is that it's against the law to use a handheld device while driving. And that includes using your phone or sat nav for directions. The offence comes with a maximum fine of £1,000 (£2,500 for a bus or good vehicle) and could even lead to you losing your licence.
- Using a mobile phone was a contributory factor in almost 1% of accidents resulting in casualties in Great Britain.
- The only areas where mobile phone use made up less than 1% of accidents were the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and Scotland.
Driver distractions can lead to accidents
1 in 4 people admit to being distracted by something inside the car while driving, like the sat nav, radio or passengers. Distractions inside the car were a contributory factor in 1 in 25 accidents in 2019.
But it seems we’re most distracted by what’s going on outside our own cars. 56% of people say their biggest distraction when driving is other drivers. Across Great Britain, more than 1 in 5 accidents that have casualties are caused by the ‘injudicious actions’ of other drivers. That includes speeding and travelling too close behind other cars.
Two thirds of the drivers we polled admitted to driving while tired.