New Scottish drivers too nervous to brave motorway

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Following the announcement that learner drivers will be allowed on the motorway in a matter of months, a new study from Co-op insurance reveals almost a fifth of drivers still feel nervous driving on the motorway.

The new study, conducted among Scottish drivers reveals that almost a fifth (17%) feel nervous at the thought of taking on the motorway.

A further 6% said that driving on the motorway made them feel intimidated and 14% said they were bored when driving on the motorway.

It’s for this reason, more than four fifths (85%) of drivers have welcomed the change, which will see learner drivers allowed to take lessons on the motorway from 2018.

Of those who support the law change, four fifths (80%) believe that it will give new drivers more confidence on the motorway and a third (34%) said it will help to keep roads safer.

When asked what their biggest concern was when driving on the motorway, two fifths (43%) of Scottish drivers worried about driving in the rain, two fifths (42%) said they worried about being tailgated, and more than a third (36%) worried about other drivers drifting into their lane.

More than a fifth (23%) worried about breaking down on the motorway, more than a third (36%) are concerned about being caught in a high speed collision and more than a quarter (27%) worry about lorry drivers not being able to see other vehicles.

Top 10 biggest motorway fears:

1. 43% - Visibility in the rain

2. 42% - Being tailgated

3. 36% - Other vehicles drifting into another lane

4. 36% - Being caught in a high speed collision

5. 27% - Lorry drivers not being able to see other vehicles

6. 24% - Tire blow-outs

7. 23% - Breaking down

8. 21% - Being able to concentrate

9. 20% - Missing my exit

10. 18% - Road rage

In anticipation of these changes, Co-op Insurance is testing motorist’s existing motorway knowledge through an interactive quiz, with a view to increasing people’s understanding of motorway driving.

Nick Ansley, Head of Motor Insurance at Co-op Insurance commented: “Almost a third of the young driver accidents that we see happen between one and six months of them passing their driving test. In the main, this is due to lack of experience on the road.

“Therefore, if taking lessons on the motorway early on helps to build confidence in new drivers then it can only be a good thing, for both them and other road users.

“Evidently, the motorway can be an intimidating place and the fact that 17% of drivers in Scotland feel nervous when driving on them is concerning.

“We look forward to welcoming these changes next year and hope to see more drivers building confidence and helping to make and keep our roads safe.”

Mike Bristow, spokesperson for Brake, the Road Safety Charity said: “Young drivers are involved in a high proportion of crashes that kill and seriously injure because of inexperience and the tendency of some to take risks.

“Improved training before and after getting a licence is essential to improving road safety. The introduction of motorway driving lessons is a welcomed step, but there needs to be much wider reform to the learning to drive system. This could include a minimum learning period and restrictions for newly-qualified drivers, such as a late night curfew.

“This graduated driver licensing approach has helped dramatically reduce road casualties in countries including Australia, and could save lives here in the UK too.”