Is the UK a nation of dangerous drivers ?

man at the wheel with phone in hand


Is the UK a nation of dangerous drivers?


Every week we’re bombarded with some new statistics proclaiming the dire state of driving standards throughout the UK.

There’s been a myriad of new laws and restrictions introduced in the last months to combat the nation’s bad driving habits.

Are we that inattentive and disobedient?


Here are some of the stories we’ve found in the last few months:

Police catch someone speeding every fifteen seconds

Throughout the UK, 6000 people get caught every day which is four a minute.

At the top of the league table is Avon and Somerset who report catching 548 a day. At the bottom of the league was Wiltshire who catches 1191 a year.

One of the key factors attributed to the high rate of detection was the abundance of functioning speed cameras in the county.


Most drivers ignore 20mph limits

Department for Transport figures shows 86 percent of cars speed in 20mph zones, rising to 94 percent in small hours of the morning.

Car drivers are ten times more likely to flout the law in a 20mph zone than in a 60mph zone.

The average speed in a 20mph zone is 26mph.

It’s a similar picture with other vehicle types:

  • 77% of long bus drivers
  • 53% of short bus drivers
  • 75% HGVs
  • 84% LCVs
  • 75% motorcyclists

Adherence to speed limits correlated with the increase in speed.

In a 30mph, 48% of car drivers stuck to limits.


A third of drivers use their phones at the wheel

A survey by a leading online aggregator showed that a third of motorists (34%) used whilst in stationary traffic and a quarter of drivers used their phone whilst moving (25%).

What was shocking was the incidents of mobile phone use between drivers aged 18-24, 58% stationary and 56% whilst moving.

Here’s a breakdown of the figures from the survey:

driving statistics table

Nearly 11,000 people behind the wheel with 12 or more points

Current UK legislation says that if you accrue 12 points in a three-year period you will be taken to court and face a minimum six-month ban.

Yet according to DVLA figures:

  • 10,964 drivers have 12 or more points
  • 254 have at least 20 points
  • 30 have 30 or more points
  • 1 has 54 points


Road safety campaigners are saying that repeat offenders are exploiting loopholes that allow them to continue driving as a ban would cause hardship or loss of employment.



Despite the relentless portrayal of the reckless nature of UK drivers, the UK is the safest place to drive in Europe.

The 2018 road safety statistics report shows that the UK had 28 road traffic fatalities for every one million inhabitants last year.

Between June 2017 and June 2018:

  • 1,770 reported road deaths
  • 26,610 people killed or seriously injured
  • 165,100 casualties of all severities


The official figures show a 6% annual decrease and traffic management initiatives are showing positive effects.

So is it a case of sensationalist reporting or an increase in quality analysis?

It would be irresponsible to say that we’re not a nation of dangerous drivers but the statistics show were are getting better and government measures are fueling improvements.


If you want to keep a closer eye on the behaviour of your drivers and the whereabouts of your fleet vehicles in real-time, we offer telematic solutions and dashcams to suit any fleet.

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