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Driving it safe

Finally, some good news about road safety this week in the shape of promising statistics from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and The Fuelcard Company.

Firstly, a report from the IAM suggested England’s roads are actually the safest in the UK, with the lowest rate of road deaths ahead of Scotland and Wales, with Northern Ireland at the bottom of the chart. The study, which looked at areas such as road fatalities and car ownership, found considerable differences in figures around the UK.

In England itself, the north east and the north west are the safest places to drive, while the east Midlands is the most dangerous.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “While the UK is now top of the European road safety league, the risk of being killed on UK roads varies considerably around the country. Road deaths in Northern Ireland are twice that of north east England.

“Bringing the worst areas in the UK up to the same level of the best would save many more lives and reduce serious injuries. This should be a prime focus for central, devolved and local government road safety plans.”

Meanwhile, a survey from The Fuelcard Company suggested that commercial drivers are highly aware of their road safety responsibilities and may not be among the many motorists still flouting mobile phone laws. In fact, fleet drivers seem to be putting road safety even before their own comfort and needs.

A poll of 1,106 of our fleet customers saw the hands-free kit one of the most useful cab accessories over the MP3 player, portable fan and portable heater. Twenty-five percent of fleet professionals said their hands-free kit was the most important item in their vehicle.

Marketing Director at The Fuelcard Company, Jakes De Kock, added: “If motorists are flouting mobile phone laws, it certainly isn’t the majority of business drivers. The fact that a combined total of 68 percent of drivers site their sat-nav or hands-free kit as the most useful in-car accessory over personal comforts such as a heater, fan and CD player shows that commercial drivers are very much aware of their responsibility to other motorists in terms of minimising risk on the road.”

We’ll repeat de Kock’s last word by saying both studies show drivers’ road safety awareness in a very positive and ‘encouraging’ light this week indeed.

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