79 per cent of drivers are worried about driving, feeling that a crash could be just around the corner, according to a recent survey.
This ‘Accident Anxiety’ is mostly caused by tailgating (45 per cent), road rage (41 per cent) and uninsured drivers (29 per cent), which, put together, are responsible for killing 130 people and injuring another 26,500 every year.
The majority (81 per cent) of those surveyed have opted out of making a journey as a result of their worries. 83 per cent of drivers aged 35-44 years old are affected in one way or another, the highest of any age group. Female respondents were more likely to see this anxiety affect their driving style (27 per cent) compared with males (17 per cent).
Jon Dye, CEO of Allianz Insurance, which conducted the research, said: “It’s worrying to see that so many motorists feel they will have an accident, and yet so few feel more driver training would help. Drivers can only drive at their best if they feel calm and alert and not unduly worried about what other motorists are getting up to.
“Tailgating, ‘road rage’ and uninsured drivers can all cause accidents and contribute to the claims costs faced by insurers at a time when the industry is looking to bring down premiums in a sensible way for customers.”
James Gibson of Road Safety GB said: “The Allianz research shows that ‘Accident Anxiety’ is prevalent among the drivers surveyed. Actions like tailgating and aggressive driving behaviour can be particularly intimidating. Motorists need to find ways of coping with the actions of others when they get behind the wheel.
“The best advice is not to react to the aggressive and inconsiderate behaviour of others as this can cause a collision. If you are being tailgated it is best to recognise that some drivers are intent on overtaking and the best way to deal with this is to simply allow them to pass when it’s safe to do so. It can be useful to think about the things that cause you stress and anxiety and develop strategies to cope before you start a journey.”
Despite this anxiety, new figures released by the Department of Transport (DfT) have shown a 2 per cent drop in the number of fatalities on our roads from September 2012-13, with a larger 6 per cent fall when taking into account cases of serious injury.
It is estimated that up to one-in-three people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads are driving to work at the time of their accident.
Laura Woods, from Brake, said: “Every casualty on our roads is a needless, preventable tragedy, so we must aim for zero because no death or serious injury is acceptable. Companies that employ drivers have an important role to play in reducing these figures further.”
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