One in four Brits admit they are a 'bad driver', it emerged yesterday. Research revealed motorists regularly make potentially dangerous errors such as drifting out of lanes on motorways and not indicating at roundabouts.
Additionally, one in five drivers admitted falling asleep at the wheel and many confessed to travelling at double the speed limit on occasion.
One in ten has had a brush with a cyclist while the study also found that one in five people have driven knowing they are over the limit and would fail a breathalyzer test. Others admitted to getting distracted by their children, jumping red lights and deliberately ignoring stop signs.
The research, which was commissioned by Slater and Gordon and polled 2,000 Brits found the majority of drivers are routinely driving dangerously and plaguing Britain's roads.
Yesterday Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyer Paul Kitson said, ''These statistics are really worrying as what can seem like a silly or minor lapse in judgement in driving can have disastrous consequences.
''We work with clients who experience the life changing effects of bad driving every day. It's important to remember that driving can have terrible consequences if you don't take it seriously.''
The study also found nearly one in three drivers have hit another car while trying to park while one in four had knowingly driven the wrong way down a one way street.
Twenty three per cent admitted hitting a bollard and a fifth of irresponsible drivers confessed to bumping or scraping a parked car and driving off without leaving their details.
A lucky one in ten is counting their blessings after a near miss in the last 12 months that saw them only just avoid collision with another vehicle.
And the mobile phone still proves a common danger while driving, with answering calls, checking Facebook and replying to texts taking many drivers' eyes off the road.
The majority of British drivers (83 per cent) admit they are completely set in their ways when it comes to their driving, while a stubborn 79 per cent know that they have several bad habits.
Women proved worst for texting while in the car - over a third admitted to reaching for the mobile while driving while men are far from saintly and are more reckless when it comes to looking properly on roundabouts, jumping red lights and picking up speeding tickets.
A risk-taking seven in ten drivers admitted to speeding regularly - in fact the average respondent had exceeded the limit four times in the last week alone.
No surprises then that four in ten people are often criticised for the way they drive.
One in twenty said they have forgotten everything they were taught during their driving lessons, while 42 per cent said most of it had drained from their memory.
Perhaps that explains why six in ten British motorists think they'd fail a driving test today if they had to take one.
More than a third said they felt the government's cutbacks to road safety awareness campaigns had impacted how they drive and 38 per cent said they think there are not enough road safety campaigns.
Paul Kitson added: ''There has been an 80 per cent drop in the road-safety advertising budget since 2009 and provisional data from last year showed that fatal drink driving collisions rose by 25 per cent.
''One off incidences of bad driving can quickly become habits that last a lifetime and with winter approaching I would encourage people to be extra vigilant as we always see a rise in cases and accidents because of careless driving.''
Dangerous and Careless Driving - Top driving mistakes made by British motorists
1 Driven faster than the speed limit
2 Don't feed the steering wheel through hands in the proper way
3 Eaten food at the wheel
4 Drank at the wheel
5 Don't always indicate Undertaking on a dual carriage/motorway
6 Been distracted by my kids
7 Driven through a red light
8 Swerved in to another lane
9 Not cleared frost off my windows before driving
10 Cut someone up
11 Parked on double yellow lines
12 Hit my car whilst parking in a car park
13 Opened a car door without looking
14 Parked on double yellows
15 Driven the wrong way down a one way street
16 Gone into the back of someone
17 Don't always look on a roundabout
18 Hit a bollard
19 Don't look behind when reversing
20 Driven with more people in the car than allowed
21 Bumped into a parked car/ brushed it slightly and driven off without details
22 Fallen asleep at the wheel
23 Driven while over the limit
24 Parked in a disabled bay
25 Gone slow in the fast lane
26 More than doubled the speed limit
27 Deliberately ignored a red light
28 Deliberately ignored a stop sign
29 Knocked a cyclist
Paul Kitson is a Practice Group Leader at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
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