Shock Survey Drives Home Message To Drive Green, Drive Safely

Nearly a third of drivers have not worn a seatbelt while in a moving car at some time in the last year. That's a key finding in a survey carried out by motor industry body SMMT for the launch of a new guide to responsible motoring called Drive Green, Drive Safely.

Londoners are worst at ignoring advice to clunk-click on every trip, while under 35s are far more likely to risk their lives than older motorists. Women are also better than men while motorists in the North East are the most diligent at buckling-up in the UK.

Survey results also revealed some of the most basic checks and advice from car makers, government and safety bodies falling on deaf ears. For example, a staggering 72 per cent of drivers have not read the Highway Code since passing their driving test while 15 per cent do not bother to test tyre pressures between services, a crucial safety check that also helps minimise tailpipe emissions.

Commenting on the results, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, 'Simple steps like reading the Highway Code, taking time to fit a child seat properly and checking tyres regularly could prevent many people from needlessly coming to harm on the roads. Yet millions of motorists are guilty of taking safety for granted. The motor industry has a responsibility to drive this message home and every motorist should make it a 2006 resolution to do their bit.'

Despite the launch of a new colour-coded environmental label last year, the survey also reveals how green issues languish on the list of priorities for the majority of car buyers. Buying a car with low emissions is top of the agenda for fewer than three in 100. However, fuel economy, which is linked to low emissions, is far higher on buyers' radar: one in five claiming it is the most important factor in a purchase.

24 January 2006 Staff

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