March 12, 2011

Motorways Too Slow?

Tailgating is the most serious “offence” committed on motorways, with more than three-quarters of motorists saying it causes “highly dangerous”.

Driving whilst using your mobile phone came in a close second in the survey with 66 per cent agreeing it puts lives at serious risk, while nearly two thirds believe that driving in the middle lane when the left hand lane is empty is dangerous and should be more strictly enforced.

Only 20 per cent of the 350 motorists surveyed by GEM Motoring Assist, however, said that speeding should be more closely monitored, and over half of drivers surveyed said that the national speed limit should be increased.

GEM said this was “not the result it wanted to hear” as it is strongly opposed to suggestions, by transport secretary Philip Hammond, that motorway speed limits should be raised to 80mph.

Other findings were that more than half of those surveyed don’t want L-plated drivers to be allowed to practice on motorways before their test, with 83 per cent saying there should be a mandatory follow-up exam to test motorway driving skills, instead.

“Drivers need to make sure they are taking every precaution if they are planning to use a motorway and be fully aware of the dangers,” said David Williams, MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist. “We believe that bad motorway driving such as tailgating and driving in the middle lane when the left hand lane is empty should definitely be more strictly enforced as it is this kind of careless driving that can lead to frustration, annoyance and possible accidents.”

Added Mr Williams: “It is shocking that a large number of motorists are in favour of raising the motorway speed limit as research shows that this would considerably increase the number of casualties, levels of carbon emissions and fuel consumption. Safety is our top priority for UK drivers and we hope that by warning the public of these dangers we can help raise awareness and in turn make roads a safer place.”

Top 10 Motorway Dangers, according to GM Motoring Assist:

1. Tailgating

2. Driving while using a mobile phone

3. Driving in the middle lane when the left hand lane is empty

4. Changing lanes without adequate observation or signals

5. Driving on the hard shoulder to avoid traffic

6. Entering a motorway from a slip road without adequate observations or signals

7. Driving too slowly

8. Speeding

9. Use of the outside lane by LGVs

10. Stopping on the hard shoulder when there is no emergency

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