Press release

London's roads drive you mad

Tuesday 9 August 2005

  • Saga survey reveals bad-mannered motorists' wayward habits
  • 15% of drivers in the Capital would only leave a note on a vehicle they bumped if someone saw them

New research* by Saga Motor Insurance has revealed that when it comes to driving, good manners are truly a thing of the past. The survey of motorists in Britain found that bad-behaviour is particularly rife behind the wheel in London. Over the last 12 months almost two in five London motorists admitted to having shouted at another road user or using their horn or flashing their lights in anger, compared to a quarter of the UK population as a whole.

Labelling the phenomenon "Anti-Social Driving Disorder", Saga also found that following a 'minor bump'with a parked car, as many as 15% of drivers in the Capital would only leave a note if they thought they had been spotted (compared to an average of 8% nationally), and a staggering one in twenty would drive away and not leave a note at all, regardless of whether or not they had been spotted.

Other motoring misdemeanours committed by Londoners include:

  • Middle lane hogging - 31% (compared to 20% of the rest of the population)
  • Red light jumping - 15% (compared to 8%)
  • Undertaking - 21% (compared to 20%)
  • Parking on double yellow lines - 23% (compared to 19%)
  • Driving close to the car in front to get them to move over - 10% (compared to 9%)

Just 8% of drivers in London said they hadn't succumbed to any of the anti-social behaviours** listed in the survey.

Whilst women are almost as likely as men to admit to these motoring misdemeanours, the survey revealed that men are far more prone to anti-social driving habits that also involve breaking the law. Men are much more likely to break the speed limit on motorways - nearly two-thirds of male drivers have done so in the last twelve months compared to just under half of women. Men are also far more likely to undertake, with 27% of men admitting to this dangerous manoeuvre compared to just 13% of women.

However, the survey showed that the over 50s rate better than any other age group on road behaviour, scoring far lower on anti-social driving actions and habits.

The survey also highlighted that not all manners are dead, when drivers are not actually behind the wheel of their cars, chivalry and courtesy still reign. Two thirds of men usually open the car door for their partner, and as many as one in five people would usually open the car door for their boss if they were a passenger!

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga commented:

"Some people seem to leave their manners behind when they get into the driving seat. Our experience is that the over 50s are more considerate and tolerant of other drivers."

Anti-social driving habits can also prove extremely costly. Whilst a damaged wing mirror could cost 70 to replace, a paint job following a scrape may leave drivers facing a bill of a few hundred pounds and a collision could cost a great deal more. In fact, Saga customers whose parked cars have been damaged by an anonymous culprit have on average claimed for damage costing 700*** to repair.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors-

*Research carried out over the telephone on behalf of Saga by BMRB between 15th - 17th April 2005 amongst a sample of 1952 adults aged 17 in GB

** Driving Behaviours research breakdown:

Age and Gender Comparison

Whilst driving in the last 12 months have you?

Exceeded the 70mph limit on the motorway? London 54%, South East 56%, South West 58%, Wales 41%, East Anglia 49%, East Mids 62%, West Mids 48%, Yorks / Humber 51%, North West 61%, North 58%, Scotland 48%.

Got angry or frightened because of another road user? London 64%, South East 47%, South West 51%, Wales 45%, East Anglia 54%, East Mids 53%, West Mids 41%, Yorks / Humber 44%, North West 48%, North 47%, Scotland 43%.

Shouted or gestured at another road user? London 39%, South East 27%, South West 26%, Wales 27%, East Anglia 29%, East Mids 40%, West Mids 26%, Yorks / Humber 33%, North West 31%, North 38%, Scotland 31%.

Exceeded the 30mph limit in a built up area? London 55%, South East 58%, South West 59%, Wales 52%, East Anglia 50%, East Mids 56%, West Mids 53%, Yorks / Humber 54%, North West 60%, North 46%, Scotland 47%.

Used your horn or flashed your lights in anger? London 39%, South East 24%, South West 19%, Wales 19%, East Anglia 32%, East Mids 22%, West Mids 19%, Yorks / Humber 30%, North West 25%, North 17%, Scotland 27%.

Undertaken someone? London 21%, South East 24%, South West 15%, Wales 10%, East Anglia 18%, East Mids 24%, West Mids 20%, Yorks / Humber 19%, North West 29%, North 18%, Scotland 15%.

Stayed in the middle lane of the motorway when the inside lane is clear? London 31%, South East 22%, South West 17%, Wales 11%, East Anglia 15%, East Mids 21%, West Mids 18%, Yorks / Humber 20%, North West 20%, North 19%, Scotland 14%.

Parked on double yellow lines? London 23%, South East 19%, South West 21%, Wales 25%, East Anglia 14%, East Mids 16%, West Mids 17%, Yorks / Humber 18%, North West 19%, North 10%, Scotland 17%.

Driven close to the car in front to get them to move over? London 10%, South East 12%, South West 6%, Wales 3%, East Anglia 7%, East Mids 13%, West Mids 15%, Yorks / Humber 9%, North West 7%, North 8%, Scotland 6%.

Jumped a red light? London 15%, South East 7%, South West 5%, Wales 4%, East Anglia 10%, East Mids 12%, West Mids 7%, Yorks / Humber6%, North West 9%, North 9%, Scotland 7%.

Hit another road user or their property? London 2%, South East 2%, South West 1%, Wales 2%, East Anglia 2%, East Mids 2%, West Mids 2%, Yorks / Humber 2%, North West 3%, North 4%, Scotland 1%.

Whilst driving in the last 12 months have you?

Behaviour Total Men Women 17-49 50

Exceeded the 30mph limit in a built up area 55% 61% 49% 56% 53%

Exceeded the 70mph limit on the motorway 54% 64% 43% 60% 45%

Got angry or frightened because of another road user 49% 47% 51% 52% 44%

Shouted or gestured at another road user 31% 33% 28% 37% 22%

Used your horn or flashed your lights in anger 25% 29% 21% 30% 17%

Undertaken someone 20% 27% 13% 23% 16%

Stayed in the middle lane of the motorway when the inside lane is clear 20% 23% 17% 20% 19%

Parked on double yellow lines 19% 22% 14% 18% 19%

Driven close to the car in front to get them to move over 9% 14% 3% 12% 5%

Jumped a red light 8% 10% 7% 10% 6%

Hit another road user or their property 2% 3% 1% 2% 2%

*** Source: Saga claims database

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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