A new driver behaviour index from one provider of discount car insurance in the UK has found that roads in the UK have become more safe over the last year, as motorists have been engaging in less dangerous actions whilst behind the wheel.
Sainsbury’s motor car insurance division recently compiled research data for 2011, finding that the number of drivers that admitted to driving whilst using their mobile phones has decreased by nearly half from 11 per cent last year to only 6 per cent in 2011. Texting while driving has declined as well, with only 4 per cent of drivers admitting to the dangerous activity this year, while 2010 figures found that 6 per cent texted behind the wheel instead.
While car insurance companies may rejoice in their policyholders not pulling as many dangerous stunts while on the road this year as they did the previous one, the dangers are still present. Motorists who use a phone have displayed 50 per cent slower reaction times than those who don’t, official figures show.
Other reductions of risky behaviour were found by the research study as well, most notably in the number of motorists driving even though they felt tired (which is responsible for one out of every five crashes on major roadways). Reports of driving whilst fatigued declined at a rate of 10 per cent over the past twelve months; moreover only 6 per cent of drivers admitted to drink driving this year, as opposed to 2010’s 11 per cent figure.
More motorists stated that they would take more heed to basic safety precautions this year behind the wheel than they did last year, the research study also found. 5 per cent more drivers are making sure that their visibility is not impaired by frozen or fogged up windows, while 3 per cent more motorists have began buckling their seat belts in 2011 than they did in 2010.