Research & reports

Title: RAC Report on Motoring 2017

Organisation: RAC
Date uploaded: 7th November 2017
Date published/launched: October 2017

The RAC’s 2017 Report on Motoring once again shows the use of handheld phones and the condition of local roads to be motorists’ two biggest concerns - though the two have swapped positions in the pecking order.

The 29th edition of the RAC’s annual report, based on a survey of more than 1,700 UK motorists, reveals drivers’ attitudes and concerns and paints a picture of how and why car owners’ views are evolving over time.

In a reversal from 2016, drivers using handheld phones to talk, text or access the internet was named the biggest concern (16%), followed by the condition and maintenance of local roads (10%).

Other concerns highlighted in the 2017 report include traffic congestion/slower journey times (8%), people driving cars without tax or insurance (7%) and drivers under the influence of alcohol (7%).

Looking specifically at mobile phones, 23% of drivers surveyed admitted to using their phones to receive/make calls while driving. 18% confessed to checking emails, texts and social media behind the wheel and 11% to record/take photos.

Despite the fact that the condition and maintenance of local roads is no longer drivers’ top concern, 51% of respondents believe that the state of roads in their area has worsened in the past 12 months.

The 2017 report also found that there has been a small rise in concern about other motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As mentioned earlier, drink driving is the top safety concern among 7% of respondents, up from 5% in 2016.

The proportion of those surveyed who admit to ‘driving under the influence of alcohol’ has, however, fallen by 4% to 16%, with the report suggesting that men and city dwellers are the most likely to admit to the offence.

The report also finds that more motorists who admit to drink-driving this year believe they have done so as the result of being over the limit the morning after a drinking session, than straight after drinking.

On pollution, the report finds that a significant percentage of motorists have concerns about the air quality in their local area - with 40% saying such concerns have increased in the past 12 months.

The report says most motorists are aware of the Government’s plans to establish urban clean air zones, and there is strong support for action to be taken to ban the most polluting vehicles from such areas.

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