Manchester’s motorists are ‘fooling themselves’ that they’re good drivers – speeding, texting and causing accidents

By Tim Hyde

Manchester’s motorists are over-confident and careless – driving one-handed, speeding and causing accidents due to their reckless driving, according to a recent survey for National Road Safety Week.

While 100% of those surveyed considered themselves to be ‘safe drivers’, this is contradicted by almost half (47.1%) confessing they drive one-handed.

Even worse, more than a quarter (29.4%) have been involved in a crash and 40% admitted it was their own fault.

Meanwhile, nearly a fifth (23.5%) admit to speeding regularly.

Contrary to common perception, older motorists are more likely to disregard speed limits than younger drivers: 42% of drivers over 21 admitted to frequent speeding, whereas only 12% of those under 21 confessed to putting their foot down.

And 50% of 22-25-year-olds admit to calling or texting while driving, despite it being illegal.

Ed Rochfort, product director at Carrot Car Insurance who conducted the survey, said: “Our research has been conducted ahead of National Road Safety Week and highlights just how many people are showing reckless behaviour on our roads.

“Contrary to popular opinion it seems that newly qualified motorists tend to be much more cautious than other drivers.

“Unfortunately, results show it’s those with a few years’ driving experience who have a tendency to behave less well behind the wheel.”

The insurance company believe that it is down to a relaxed attitude towards driving safety – which is supported by everyone interviewed claiming they are ‘safe drivers’ .

Jamie Stand is a driving instructor from Manchester. He believes there is a direct correlation between over-confidence on the road and accidents.

The 33-year-old said: “Most people think they are good drivers but the majority really are not.

“Careless driving has become a habit for most people and this increases the risk of accidents on the roads.”

The worrying stats come out during National Road Safety Week an annual event co-ordinated by Brake that aims to ‘stop these needless deaths and injuries year-round’.

Brake released their own worrying statistics for the awareness week, revealing that more than half a million UK drivers have points on their licence for using their mobile phone at the wheel.

Sadly, six in ten children report being drive by an adult who was chatting on the phone while driving and a shocking 80% said they had seen motorists outside school driving while on the phone.

A Brake spokesman said: “Distraction reduces hazard perception and increases reaction times in a similar way to drink-driving, making drivers much more likely to cause deaths and injuries.

“Drivers who think they can multi-task are fooling themselves: research shows 98% are unable to divide their time without it affecting performance.”

Mr Rochfort added: “We all need to drive responsibly, and in order to cut the number of road deaths involving young drivers, it’s vital we educate people about staying safe on the road and nip bad habits in the bud.” 

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