Research and Policy

IAM RoadSmart makes a valuable contribution to the road risk debate. We produce a range of policy and research documents on topics key to the conversation. We inform and influence to ensure road safety remains a policy and investment priority.

IAM RoadSmart often gives evidence to governmental bodies, including the Transport Select Committee. Our staff also provide expertise on key committees at National Highways, Road Safety Scotland, Transport Focus and PACTS. We also contribute to the international road safety debate as members of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).


Our Policies

Mobile Phones & Driving

Using a handheld mobile phone while driving is illegal in the UK, and hands-free devices are legal but can still lead to prosecution if they cause distraction.

IAM RoadSmart calls for reviewing and potentially increasing penalties, better enforcement technology, educational campaigns, and corporate accountability to address the growing problem of mobile phone use while driving, especially among younger drivers.

Younger Drivers

In the UK, young people can obtain a full driving license at 17, but unlike other countries, there is no Graduated Driving License (GDL) scheme in Great Britain, leading to higher rates of accidents among young drivers.

IAM RoadSmart advocates for a 12-month minimum learning period, improved road safety education, and reduced insurance costs for young drivers.

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), phases in driving privileges for new drivers over 6-24 months. Currently, GDL is not implemented in England, Wales, or Scotland due to concerns about its impact on young people's employment and freedoms.

IAM RoadSmart research shows strong public support for a 12-month learning period before the practical test and for post-test advanced training.

Older Drivers

Current UK policy requires drivers to renew their licenses every three years from the age of 70, with self-declaration of meeting eyesight standards and medical conditions.

IAM RoadSmart advocates for raising the mandatory renewal age to 75 with an obligatory eye test, implementing compulsory driving assessments for those over 85.

Drug Driving

Current UK policy prohibits driving under the influence of illegal or certain levels of legal drugs, with enforcement varying by police force and limited to testing for cannabis and cocaine.

IAM RoadSmart calls for enhanced measures, including separate rehabilitation courses for drug-driving, improved detection methods, and collaboration with the health sector to raise awareness about the impacts of prescription medications on driving.

Drink Driving

England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have the highest legal limit in Europe at 80mg/100ml, while Scotland reduced its limit to 50mg/100ml in 2014.

Research shows that while drink-driving deaths have decreased significantly since 1979, progress has stagnated in recent decades.

IAM RoadSmart's research indicates strong public concern about drink driving and support for stricter enforcement.


There is growing concern over potholes on UK roads, with a significant backlog of repairs and the impact it has on motorists. 

IAM RoadSmart's research shows that potholes are a major concern for drivers, with many having to avoid damage or change routes. The organisation calls for action, including uniform standards for pothole repairs, a national roads renewal programme, and a re-evaluation of the government funding regime. 

Cycling Infrastructure

Current government strategies are aimed at increasing cycling and walking, including targets for short journeys and infrastructure improvements. Cyclists remain a vulnerable road user group.

IAM RoadSmart calls for action on several fronts, including building high-quality segregated cycling infrastructure, promoting cycling skills courses, and improving driver awareness of cycling-related Highway Code changes.

Document on potholes
Document on Cycling Infrastructure

IAM RoadSmart Opinion Panel

We have invited a select group of IAM RoadSmart members to join the IAM RoadSmart Opinion Panel to take part in regular online surveys. You may have been invited to take part in a survey about Speed Limits, Motorcycle Air Vests, and Headlight Glare, at the end of which you would be invited to join the panel.

These surveys will be used to support IAM RoadSmart’s campaigns, press releases, research and discussions with Government. This is your chance to get your voice heard.

To ensure that the panel provides a representative voice, we have teamed up with Online95, an independent market research agency to provide valuable evidence and insight into what matters most to you.

Online95 abides by the UK Market Research Society's code of conduct and guidelines.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is the UK's independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. Online95 is registered with the ICO and comply with the principles of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (EU) 2018.

For more information about the IAM RoadSmart Opinion Panel please email:


Our eighth annual report on the opinions, attitudes and behaviour of British drivers, the Driving Safety Culture Survey shows that the main worries of British drivers have remained remarkably consistent over time – even during the recent pandemic. With 2000 respondents this is one of the biggest annual opinion surveys on road safety run in the UK.

Download our latest report See our research archive

Our Campaigns

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Drug-driving collisions and casualties have gone up by over 260% in 10 years, and convictions are increasing every year. The impact is devastating, and getting worse.

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Worrying results from our recent research show that the latest in-vehicle infotainment systems impair reactions times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use.

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Motorcycle Safety

We have launched a campaign, supported by organisations across the industry, to make the roads safer for motorcyclists - recognising them as vulnerable road users.

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IAM RoadSmart has calculated the true cost of your drink. Should it take you over the drink drive limit, the financial impact following a conviction could be as high as £70,000.

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