Dangerous driving common on UK motorways

Six in 10 UK drivers own up to risky tailgating (57%) and more than 60% of drivers break the motorway speed limit by 10mph or more, a survey by Brake and Direct Line reveals

Brake and Direct Line’s survey reveals that in the past year almost six in 10 (57%) admit leaving less than a two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front, with almost three in 10 (28%) doing so monthly or more. More men (61%) admit doing so than women (53%). Six in 10 (60%) admit breaking the 70mph speed limit by 10mph or more, with almost three in 10 (28%) doing so monthly or more. Men are the worst offenders, with almost seven in 10 (69%) doing 80mph or more, and more than a third (36%) doing so at least monthly, compared with just over half (53%) and two in 10 (22%) women, respectively.
Almost all drivers say they worry about other drivers tailgating on motorways: 95% are at least occasionally concerned about vehicles too close behind them; more than four in 10 (44%) are concerned every, or most, times they drive on a motorway.
By driving too close to the vehicle in front and breaking the speed limit, drivers are leaving themselves far too little time to react in an emergency, risking devastating crashes. Crashes on 70mph roads are more than twice as likely to result in death as crashes on roads with lower speed limits. In 2012 there were 88 deaths and 654 serious injuries on UK motorways.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said, ‘Almost all drivers are concerned about the danger posed by other people tailgating on motorways, and yet a shockingly high proportion admit driving too close and speeding themselves. There are no two ways about it: ignore the two-second rule or the speed limit on motorways and you’re putting yourself and others at risk of a horrific crash. Traffic laws are not just for other people: all drivers can help make our motorways safer and prevent needless tragedies by committing to keep your distance and stay under speed limits, including temporary lower limits.’
Brake recently supported Highway Agency proposals to roll out speed cameras on stretches of ‘smart’ motorways, and urges the government to extend the used of average speed cameras across the network.
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