Britain's roads rife with confusion

Monday 8 December 2008

Britain's roads rife with confusion

  • 80% of UK drivers admit to being confused about other road users' behaviour
  • Britain's roads perceived to be more dangerous now than 10 years ago
  • Over 50s are less likely to get angry behind the wheel

80% of Britain's road users find it difficult to predict and understand the behaviour of other road users, reveals research published today by Saga Motor Insurance*. Cyclists are blamed as the most unpredictable road users by 49% of Brits. Taxi drivers and foreign drivers are also named as erratic at the wheel (35% and 30%), whilst learner drivers are seen as the most predictable (17%).

Confusion is also rife over road manners with motorists are also confused as to whether struggling to decide whether fellow drivers are being helpful or rude when they flash their lights. One in four motorists believe that drivers are helpfully telling them that there is something wrong with their car when they are flashed from behind by another vehicle, however a fifth of people believe this means that the person behind wants to overtake!

This confusion could help to explain why almost three quarters (72%) of motorists believe the roads to be more threatening now than 10 years ago. The study exposed a damning attitude towards modern driving, with just 3% of people thinking that road users are more polite now than a decade ago. Despite this, no road user admits to not saying thank-you or waving to a fellow driver if they let them 'pull in'.

Driven to despair

Motorists are quick to admit that they show their anger on the roads, with almost half (43%) of those questioned shouting, gesturing or hooting at another car if they are angered. One in seven people (14%) even say they suffered as a direct victim of a road rage incident.

Interestingly women are just as likely as men to take action if they are angered by another road user's driving, the difference comes in the action they take - 28% of women admit to sounding their horn in fury, whilst men are the most likely to gesture angrily towards other drivers with one in 10 admitting to doing so. The calmest group of drivers are the over 50s with only one in four taking action against other drivers, compared to over half of under 50s.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga Group, commented: "Whilst most drivers claim to be polite and well intentioned in their gestures to others, this survey reveals that modern road manners can be a source of confusion among road users."

For more information on Saga Motor Insurance please visit or call 0800 068 8718.


Notes to Editors-

*Survey carried out by Opinium Research for Saga Motor Insurance between the 4 th and 8 th September 2008 among a sample of 2,040 UK representatives.

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

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