Graham Hurdle's blog: 4 August - We can drive safely - we're just choosing not to!
04 August 2016
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
Ford published some interesting statistics regarding young people, having commissioned a report of 6500 drivers by the European Road Safety Observatory.
The part that caught my eye was that a total of 93% of young drivers consider they have good driving skills - but 54% admit they are not always as safe as they should be while driving.
Of the drivers who almost ALL believe they have good driving skills, 57% admitted to exceeding speed limits, 43% have sent a text while driving, 36% have taken calls and sent messages, 16% have driven without wearing their seatbelts, 13% have driven after drinking, and up to 11% have watched videos or TV shows on their devices behind the wheel.
I dread to think what the 7% who didn't feel they had good driving skills are up to!
The problem in my mind is that the traits we're seeing in young people are widespread in more experienced drivers too.
Let's be honest. Irrespective of age, most of us think we're good drivers - or at least better than average. Most would also agree that habits such as texting and using inappropriate speed are all very dangerous. Yet the evidence is that many drivers continue to do it.
In my mind there are a multitude of factors. Lets take speeding for example. Some do it because they're late, others because they think they're safe and don't see a problem and, lets be frank, others speed because they enjoy driving fast!
As for texting? Those that do it probably think it will only take a second or two and don't see that as too great a risk. Maybe they feel the message that they need to read or send is too important to wait.
The bottom line is that we need to work on people's attitudes so that they understand the true dangers of their actions, rather than leave them believing these are risks worth taking.
As there seems to be a general apathy by the Government to invest in high profile awareness of safe driving, it's important for the corporate sector to do its bit. It wouldn't take a great deal of time and money for all companies to properly train their drivers, because it can largely be done online and at low cost. But unless we tackle this problem soon, I fear the statistics will get increasingly worse.