Research & reports

Title: Attitudes to Road Safety: Analysis of Driver Behaviour Module, 2010 NatCen Omnibus, Survey

Organisation: Department for Transport
Date uploaded: 15th February 2011
Date published/launched: February 2011

This report examines people's attitudes towards road safety and aims to establish a high-quality baseline of data for 2010.

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This report examines people’s attitudes towards road safety and aims to establish a
high-quality baseline of data for 2010, with the scope to repeat the survey in future in order to measure trends over time if desired. It is based on a module of questions included in the NatCen Omnibus survey between February and April 2010.

With the exception of walking, travelling in a car was the most often mentioned
mode of transport used in the previous 12 months: 78% having travelled in a car as a
passenger and 70% having done so as a driver. Around two-thirds (67%) of drivers
drove every day, while, of those travelling as passengers, only 10% did so every day.

Respondents were most likely to perceive road casualties as being caused by driving
after drinking alcohol. However, according to official statistics (Department for
Transport, 2010a), the most common contributory factor in personal injury road
accidents in 2009, recorded by the police, was failing to pay attention while driving (‘failed to look properly’).

In general, respondents found current levels of police enforcement of traffic laws too low and existing penalties for road traffic offences too lenient. This was especially true of driving under the influence of illegal drugs, and driving dangerously or carelessly. However, views in relation to speeding were not as strong, where a considerable minority felt that police enforcement in this area was too high and that penalties were too harsh. This was more true of drivers than non-drivers.

For more information contact:
Dave Hammond
T: 020 7944 6436

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