Complacency leading to risk-taking on roads

October 9, 2013 | By | In News

Drivers are being urged to avoid taking needless risks behind the wheel, after new research revealed that 69 per cent of motorists admit putting others at risk by breaking traffic laws.

A poll of 1,000 drivers by road safety charity Brake and insurance provider Direct Line showed that despite the majority of motorists admitting to dangerous law breaking, 99 per cent said they would consider themselves to be at least as safe as the average driver.

Over a third (35 per cent) of those who admitted breaking traffic laws said they did so because they felt they could handle it, while another third said it was due to not paying enough attention.

However, only one per cent of drivers admitted to knowingly taking risks and carrying on regardless.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "It is deeply concerning so many drivers break vital traffic laws, yet still believe they are safe. Anyone who thinks they can handle speeding, using a phone at the wheel or drink-driving is fooling themselves and taking an appalling chance with people's lives.

“The evidence is clear: if you break traffic laws you risk causing terrible harm to yourself and others. The first step to being a truly safe driver is to recognise that protecting people is your number one priority when you get behind the wheel – far more important than getting there a bit faster, or answering a call.

“Traffic laws exist to protect people from death and injury, and staying within them is a fundamental responsibility for everyone who drives. We are calling on drivers to make Brake's Pledge to always drive safely and legally, to help reduce the number of people needlessly killed and hurt on our roads."

The statistics speak for themselves. Every day five people are killed and a further 63 seriously injured every day on UK roads, with the majority caused by a drivers’ risk-taking.

Brake is also calling on the Government to increase funding for specialist roads policing, which is proven to be more effective than speed cameras for reducing casualties, and to wholly enforce a ban when a driver reaches 12 points on their licence – regardless of any ‘exceptional hardship’ pleas.

Picture: Fotolia

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