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Millions of motorists still unsure about Highway Code changes

A year on from changes to the Highway Code, millions of UK drivers are still unsure about the rules of the roads.

Coinciding with the anniversary of the introduction of eight new code rules, an Aviva Quotemehappy Connect study of 1,500 UK drivers showed that knowledge of the changes is patchy, with less than one-in-five correctly identifying some of the updated details.

Drivers appear to be puzzled over rules, including the right of way when crossing a side road or the correct procedure when overtaking a horse. There is also uncertainty about the recommended way to open a car door. Despite this, 91% of motorists are confident in their ability to drive safely and efficiently.

In addition, more than three quarters (76%) are confident they would pass a practical driving test if they took it today, and almost two thirds (65%) feel they would pass a driving theory test.

Matthew Washer, head of connected motor at Aviva, said: “There are a wealth of tools and tips available to help motorists drive more safely. Our Quotemehappy Connect app is designed with younger drivers in mind, to monitor driving and provide feedback, guidance and coaching to help them become safer drivers.

“We’ve had a really encouraging response to Quotemehappy Connect insurance since its introduction in December. More than half of our customers are receiving weekly points because of their safe driving.

“However, it’s important that people know the rules of the roads too. This latest research demonstrates that people aren’t always up to speed with the latest Highway Code changes, so we’d encourage them to review their knowledge on a regular basis, so they know how to stick to the rules when behind the wheel.”

Do your drivers always wear a seatbelt? Fleet decision-makers voiced their concerns this was still a live and ‘massive’ problem.

The research also initially suggests that younger drivers could have a better knowledge of the Highway Code than more mature motorists. More than half of drivers aged 17-24 say they review the Highway Code at least once a year, compared to less than a quarter (24%) of motorists aged over 55.

Two thirds of drivers (65%) aged under 25 also say they are confident in their Highway Code knowledge, compared to 46% of those aged 55 and above.

However, the study found that drivers aged 17-24 most scored five out of 12, when questioned on selected points of the Highway Code, compared to seven out of 12 for motorists aged 55 and above.

Only three of the 1,508 drivers surveyed answered all 12 questions correctly – all three were aged 55+.

Fleet News February 2023

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