Club news: IAM finds motorists are now more worried about the dangers of distraction by technology than drink-driving
Publication date: 09 November 2015
Motorists are now more worried about the dangers of distraction posed by technology and social media than drink-driving, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorist’s (IAM) first major survey into safety culture.
The Safety Culture Index report was launched last week by the IAM, and is a study of more than 2,000 UK motorists’ attitudes to driving safety and behaviour on our roads. This report will form a definitive baseline to track changes over time, providing the opportunity to examine how attitudes change over the years.
The report has found that while technology will form a fundamental part of improving road safety, it also poses some risks, in particular driver distraction – 77% of people say it is now a bigger problem than three years ago. This compares to just 23% of people feeling drink driving is a bigger threat than three years ago. Those surveyed said text messaging and social media are the two biggest factors threatening their personal safety, with 93% and 92% respectively claiming these to be a ‘very or somewhat serious’ threat. The next two factors they say are threats to their personal safety are drink and drug driving, at 90% and 89% respectively.
And while most people feel talking on a hand-held mobile phone is unacceptable in their own locality (just 15% said they found it acceptable), some 64% say talking on a hands-free mobile phone is acceptable. Motorists are also much more worried about speeding in residential streets than they are about speeding on motorways - 86% believing this to be a very or somewhat serious threat; 24% higher than motorways. This is borne out by the fact 61% feel it’s acceptable to drive 10mph over the speed limit on the motorway, just 27% feel it’s acceptable to drive 5mph over the limit on a residential street.