Mobiles, roundabout use, speeding – Poll of 7,000 Irish motorists shows the sins we commit every day

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An AA survey of over 7,000 Irish motorists has shown that mobile phone use and failure to indicate at roundabouts are the most common examples of bad driving witnessed on the roads every day. Drivers also complained of other road users speeding, showing poor lane discipline, tailgating and driving aggressively. Using a mobile phone while driving topped the poll at almost 60%. Females and those under the age of 24 were the most likely to commit to the offence, admitting according to the survey. This was closely followed by 59% reporting incorrect indicating at a roundabout. *

The sin-list – top ten most common ‘bad behaviours’ witnessed on the roads daily

Rank      Offence                                                                                                                                ‘witnessed daily’ score

1.       Using a mobile phone                                                                                                                    60%      
2.       Incorrect indicating / failure to indicate at a roundabout                                                                59%
3.       Speeding                                                                                                                                        57%
4.       Incorrect indicating / failure to indicate when changing lanes                                                       50%
5.       Poor lane discipline                                                                                                                        48%
6.       Incorrect indicating / failure to indicate when overtaking, turning right or left.                                38%
7.       Not paying proper attention                                                                                                             37%
8.       Aggressive driving                                                                                                                           33%
9.       Tailgating                                                                                                                                         33%
10.   Rudeness                                                                                                                                        20%

“Road are dangerous at the best of times, and they are also complex places where everyone’s good depends on everyone’s co-operation.” Says Director of Policy Conor Faughnan. “Little omissions, like not indicating properly, might not mean much to the individual driver but they affect everyone else around you.”
57% of motorists witness speeding on a daily basis. Speeding is the biggest killer on Irish roads today and Gardai will be targeting roads with increased levels of enforcement this bank holiday. Not surprising, males were twice as likely to speed on a daily basis as females. Drivers under the age of 35 were also twice as likely to speed as those over 55 years of age. The figures above evoke concern to the public. When drivers were questioned on their own everyday driving habits, the majority of driver’s state they never engage in the behaviors outlined. 40% did however, admit to speeding on occasion.

Incorrect or failure to indicate while changing lanes was reported in half of motorists surveyed. Poor lane discipline was reported daily in a further 48% of motorists. 38% reported incorrect indicating while overtaking.

One third of drivers witness aggressive driving, tailgating, incorrect indication turning right and left and general low levels of attention on a daily basis. A further 20% experience rude behavior with 9% encountering road rage such as car horns and abusive language.

“None of us are perfect, and international research shows that 1 in 500 decisions that a driver makes will be a mistake. That might be a simple mistake, like forgetting to indicate, or it could be lethal, like swerving across a lane or being fool enough to take that phone call.”

The standard of Irish driving has improved a lot in recent times but the AA survey shows that we are still far from perfect. When asked how often they themselves committed various offences, the percentages admitting to daily transgressions were low but nevertheless 6.4% admitted speeding on a daily basis, 4.7% to using a phone and 2.7% to poor lane discipline. 1.9% admitted aggressive driving and 1.2% admitted being rude.  (see chart below).

More than half of all motorists have never acted in ‘road rage’ by blaring a horn or shouting abuse. But just under 1% – a small percentage but a large number of drivers – said that they do it every day.
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Notes
*Roundabouts are perceived as a high risk location. There has been growing concern from motorists on the general public’s capability of using a roundabout. Motorists frequently admit to confusion on which way to proceed.  AA advice when approaching a roundabout:-
·         A driver must enter a roundabout by turning left and treat it as a junction giving right of way to traffic already on it.
·         Look in all directions on approach to the roundabout taking note of all traffic, signs, lights and road markings directing you into correct lane.
·         Start your scanning well back from the roundabout to give you a variety of observation angles as you approach. Look for gaps, not cars
·         Ask yourself if there could be anything hidden from view
·         Give way to traffic approaching from your right, unless signs, road markings or traffic lights convey otherwise.