Sharing a car journey with work colleagues, friends or family could help the nation's drivers stay safe on the roads, according to new research from Privilege Insurance.
Motorists carrying passengers are half as likely to be involved in an accident than those driving solo, the research reveals. One in ten drivers say they have been involved in an accident when driving alone, compared to just one in twenty who were driving with a passenger.
And it is not just accidents that are reduced by driving with a passenger, it seems. Four in ten motorists (39 per cent) have lost concentration while driving, but only two in ten (22 per cent) have done so when driving with a passenger. One in five drivers have been pulled over by the police when driving alone due to the poor quality of their driving, compared to just nine per cent who have been pulled over when driving with someone else in the car.
More than one in twenty British motorists (six per cent) currently have a car pool arrangement in place for their drive to work, according to Privilege's findings. By the end of the 2006, over four million drivers expect to be sharing car journeys on a regular basis (12 per cent), and by 2010 this will increase to nearer six million (17 per cent).
However, one in five drivers (21 per cent) believe they would be more likely to car pool if special lanes were introduced. Just under half (48 per cent) of all drivers surveyed by Privilege support the introduction of car pool lanes on key commuter routes. And among those who support such plans, three quarters (76 per cent) would like to see car pool lanes combined with existing or new bus lanes.
Philip Igoe, Director of Car Plus, a national car sharing charity, commented on Privilege's research:
"Car pooling is easy on the pocket and kind on the environment. In addition, Privilege's new research suggests that sharing a journey may also reduce the risk of accidents.
"Given the many benefits of car sharing, drivers should perhaps be asking themselves; 'do we really need to drive alone?'"
Ian Parker, Managing Director of Privilege Insurance, said:
"Privilege's research demonstrates the potential road safety benefits of car sharing. Each year thousands of people are killed on our roads and tens of thousands more are seriously injured. If car pooling or sharing journeys encourages safer driving, then that should be sufficient justification to prompt drivers into rethinking their car use habits."
Leaders in the field of UK car pooling with 99,000 members, www.Liftshare.com have welcomed this research and hope that it will encourage more people to give car sharing a try. Liftshare’s Managing Director, Ali Clabburn said:
“We welcome any new research which advocates the benefits of car sharing. We already knew that some of our members, especially women, feel safer sharing a car and not walking on their own to their car at night. This research suggests that there are further and very significant safety benefits to sharing a car.
By lift-sharing, our average member saves over a £1000 a year on their travel costs, reduces CO2 emissions by over 1 tonne a year, does their bit to cut congestion and now also helps to improve road safety. Joining www.Liftshare.com is totally free and I hope many more people will give it a try.”
Notes to the Editor
This news story applies to England, Scotland and Wales only.
The research was conducted between 8th and 10th November 2005. YouGov interviewed a sample of 2144 individuals in the UK. The survey was carried out online. Results were weighted to be representative of the known profile of population from the 2001 Census.
2) According to the Census 2001, the population of Great Britain is
58,789,194 of which 46,161,595 are over 17. 75 per cent of these drive a car (34,621,196) of which 12 per cent already or expect to car pool by the end of 2006 (4,154,543). Another 5 per cent will believe they will be car pooling by 2010 (5,885,603)
3) 'Road Casualties in Great Britain - Main Results: 2004', Department for Transport, p5. 3,200 people die on the nations roads and 31,000 are injured.
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