IAM RoadSmart, a charity dedicated to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads, is involved in lobbying for improvements in road safety standards and leading the road safety debate with central government and within the motoring community. IAM RoadSmart is an advocate for lifelong personal development of driving and riding skills.
IAM RoadSmart analyses multiple issues and viewpoints when considering ways to improve road safety, not least those of its, 92,000 members. Human factors are one of these – how the driver (or rider) interacts with the journey, the vehicle and the external world – as highlighted by the 2016 government report on road casualties: “All accidents have a cause and that cause is often someone making a mistake or exhibiting dangerous or thoughtless road behaviour”.
The 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Culture Index, a study of UK motorists’ attitudes towards driving. The report highlighted that the main areas of concern amongst motorists (who took part in the survey), included: Using a mobile phone whilst driving, aggressive driving and drug driving.
Whilst the UK has seen massive reductions in the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads over the decades, that figure has plateaued at just over 1,700 in recent years (reported road fatalities were 1,792 in 2016, 1,732 in 2015, 1,775 in 2014 and 1,713 in 2013. Reported serious injuries were 24,101 in 2016, 22,137 in 2015, 22,801 in 2014 and 21,657 in 2013).
Added to this, we are less than two decades away from driverless cars becoming popular on our roads. An important area of consideration is how driverless cars will exist on the roads alongside conventionally driven vehicles. What is certain is that the debate will not disappear as technology plays a bigger role in our motoring lives, and IAM RoadSmart will continue to play a central role in it.
IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “Five years of flat lining road deaths is unacceptable. The huge gains in road safety made in the past now seem a distant memory. The government must show more leadership to really drive down road deaths in the future.”
Whilst rudeness scored highest in the list, with 81% of Brits citing bad manners as the worst thing a suitor can do, driving is a three-point turn off as nearly half of the 10 worst offences happen in the car before the date has even begun.
The research, conducted by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), found road rage to be the worst first-date faux pas for almost half (46%) of people, whilst a similar number say texting at the wheel leaves them wanting to put the brakes on the date.
Talking on a mobile whilst driving appeared at number seven in the list, grinding the gears of 44 per cent of those questioned. And it’s best to bin those crisp packets as nearly a quarter (23%) finds a dirty car unappealing.
Top 10 first date turn-offs
1. Rudeness (81%)
2. Bad personal hygiene (80%)
3. No sense of humour (70%)
4. Being self-obsessed (69%)
5. Road rage (46%)
6. Texting whilst driving (45%)
7. Talking on a mobile whilst driving (44%)
8. Bad dress sense (40%)
9. Sweaty palms (25%)
10. Dirty car (23%)
Top 10 first date turn-ons
1. Sense of humour (81%)
2. Politeness (77%)
3. Good personal hygiene (69%)
4. Good dress sense (50%)
5. Looks (44%)
6. Confidence (44%)
7. Generosity (29%)
8. Good driving skills (11%)
9. Great shoes (9%)
10. Nice car (7%)
A further one in 10 (11%) are irritated by someone who takes 15 minutes to park, whilst an eighth of Brits (13%) find overly cautious drivers who go under the speed limit off-putting.
Other turn-offs include bad personal hygiene, which causes four in five (80%) of us to lose interest, and no sense of humour which shirks nearly three quarters (70%) of singletons. Being self-obsessed (69%) and sweaty palms (25%) also scored highly in the list.
On the flipside, more than one in 10 (11%) Brits say good driving skills get their motors running on a first date – beating a nice car (7%) and great shoes (9%).
The IAM’s chief executive, Sarah Sillars said: “Bad driving not only has an impact on the safety of our roads, but can also affect your chances of romance. Being able to manoeuvre properly and drive carefully should be much higher up on peoples dating priorities.”
The research revealed that Brits pick up on the driving skills of a date – good or bad - within the first 65 seconds of getting in the car, with half picking up on their potential partner’s prowess behind the wheel in just 20 seconds.
Singles can improve their driving skills – and chances of romance – by signing up for a free IAM driving assessment worth £39 at iam.org.uk/lovedriving. See if you can improve your ‘pulling’ power today.