Drivers ignorant of Highway Code update

New research has found that millions of drivers are not aware of the changes to the Highway Code, which were introduced earlier this year.

IAM RoadSmart has revealed that 20% of the 1,000 motorists surveyed were unaware of the latest changes to the code, which came into force on 29 January 2022. This potentially represents over seven million out of the 35.9 million drivers in the UK.

Worryingly, 51% of respondents admitted they can’t remember the last time they referred to the Highway Code, while 34% of those surveyed said they hadn’t read the code in over a year. This is despite the fact that 83% of respondents believe changes and regular updates to the Highway Code are important.

Among the January updates to the code was the formation of a hierarchy of road users, a risk-based policy which states that those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “An alarming number of motorists are driving on Britain’s roads without awareness of key changes which fundamentally shift the dynamics of shared use. This is a serious safety risk which could actually see the updated code causing more conflict on our roads rather than less.”