Motorists concerned over traffic congestion

Traffic congestion is now the top concern among UK motorists, overtaking other drivers on mobile phones. However, people checking social media on the move is still seen as the biggest risk to personal safety.

These are the main findings of IAM RoadSmart’s fourth annual Safety Culture Survey, published 15 November.

Each year since 2015 IAM RoadSmart surveys over 2,000 drivers about their worries, fears and attitudes. For the past two years safety concerns around other drivers using hand-held mobile phones has topped the list – but this year there is a new top worry.

More than three-quarters (76%) of those surveyed say that congestion is a bigger problem than they experienced three years ago. Some 73% of those surveyed still say mobile phone usage is a problem across the same period, but this is down from 80% who said this last year. The third biggest concern was aggressive drivers, which more than a third (68%) of people said was a bigger problem than in 2015.

However, when asked what motorists feel is ‘a serious threat’ to their safety while driving, drivers checking or updating their social media or texting outstrips other worries to top the charts, with 93% of those surveyed saying this.

Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said, ‘UK drivers still have many worries when it comes to daily life on the road and there is ample time to think about them, considering the time they are spending in traffic jams.

‘They still find the smartphone culture dangerous when mixed with the job of driving a car. Our ever busier roads need every drivers’ full attention if we are to make them safer for everyone and it’s clear those who responded to this survey recognise the extent to which mobile phones can distract a driver.’