Despite their concerns about road safety, it seems that students - perhaps like drivers of all ages - are still willing to take unnecessary risks when behind the wheel. Other results from the survey show some are undeterred by speed limits, are prepared to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and talk on their mobile phone whilst driving.
Need for speed
The most common bad driving habit amongst students, cited by 89% of respondents, was getting frustrated with older people for driving too slowly. This was seen as impeding students’ ‘need for speed’ as 49% of them said their worst habit is driving faster than 90 mph on the motorway. 68% said they would drive faster than 80 mph on the motorway, and 89% that they will drive faster than 70 mph.
In fact, they seem to be in such a hurry that 43% had been prepared to overtake when not completely safe, 33% had failed to stop for people at zebra crossings, and even 19% had driven through a red light!
Over the limit
Most drivers (61%) said that they knew one or more student drivers prepared to drive even when they knew they had exceeded the legal alcohol limit. However, the majority said that 73% of their friends who also drive, attached a ‘great deal’ of importance to not drinking and driving. Taking drugs and driving was also seen to be of concern to most (70%) of the students’ friends.
Worryingly, students said only a quarter of their friends attached a ‘great deal’ of importance to not using their mobile phones.
66% of students surveyed take out their frustrations on other road users by sounding their horn, while 57% drive too close to the car in front.
Interestingly, students are only too well aware of their own failings on the road, with three quarters saying they think young drivers are more likely to be involved in road rage incidents. 63% of students regarded older drivers as more considerate to other road users, and 53% thought older drivers were safer drivers.
However, in terms of overall responsibility on the roads, the majority of students questioned (73%) thought that they were no worse, or better, than other drivers.
Other road safety issues seen as being of importance include using seat belts - both front and back (44%) - and road safety in general (39%).Published 22 October 2003