A survey conducted by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, found that many drivers have a real lack of awareness of the rules of the road, putting themselves and others in danger.
More than 50% admitted their road knowledge was so poor, they didn’t recognise the roundabout sign.
More than two-thirds of drivers admitted they had no understanding of the two second rule.
Over 1,000 motorists participated in the survey for IAM RoadSmart to test their knowledge of the Highway Code.
Some 68% of drivers were unaware of the two-second following distance in dry weather, with 53% confusing this for two car lengths. This results in a gap of less than a third of a second when travelling at 60mph, for an average-sized family car.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “This is truly shocking. The outcome of the survey brings to light some frightening statistics which demonstrates the need to constantly re-fresh on-road knowledge.”
The survey also found that only 43% correctly recognised the Highway Code ‘dual carriageway ends’ sign, with respondents aged between 17 and 39 being the largest group to answer this incorrectly.
When asked what to do when arriving to a scene of a serious crash, almost half (48%) were unaware that the first thing you need to do is to warn others of the danger by turning on hazard lights.
Of those who participated, over half were not able to identify that a circle shaped sign demonstrates traffic signs that give orders – a crucial piece of information when on the road. Drivers aged 70 onwards statistically scored below average on this question.
Worryingly, two-thirds of those surveyed admitted they were unable to recognise the colour of the reflective studs between a motorway and its slip road, with only one in five (20%) of those aged 17 to 39 answering correctly that they are green.
Neil said: “With many young drivers showing high levels of traffic sign ignorance these results reinforce IAM RoadSmart’s view that road safety education should be taught as part of the National Curriculum in schools to prepare teenagers for their future driving career.
“Many drivers don’t look at the Highway Code regularly after they’ve passed their test, but no-one’s memory is perfect and it’s crucial to read and understand the most recent version of the Highway Code for the safety of all road users.”
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IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart commercial products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com/business
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart’s Driver Retraining Academy visit www.iamdra.org.uk
To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups