Road User Voice – June 2016 – Looking at driver behaviour

14 June 2016

How does the behaviour of other drivers affect you?

We’re carrying out work to find the answer to this question, particularly focussing on driver safety and journey experience.

In 2015 Transport Focus carried out research into road users’ priorities for improvement to England’s Strategic Road Network (SRN). You can click here to see the two reports we published, one looking at views of car drivers, van drivers and motorcyclists, the other at views of lorry drivers. The research found that ‘better behaved drivers’ was the third highest priority for improvement among car and van drivers, the second highest priority among motorcyclists and the fifth among lorry drivers.

When making a journey, by whatever mode, your fellow travellers inevitably impact on your experience to some extent. But when travelling by road the behaviour of others can have a significant impact, including to your physical safety. Yes, fellow bus and train passengers can be downright annoying with their smelly burger or loud music, but their inattention or recklessness generally doesn’t put your life at risk. Passengers rarely rile you in quite the same way that somebody cutting you up on the motorway can!

In light of this research Transport Focus wanted to look further at the subject, covering both the journey experience and the safety angle. But we were conscious that a lot of research already exists into how human behaviours impact on road safety and we didn’t want to duplicate effort. We concluded that we could initially add greatest value by looking at what research already exists.

We commissioned the Centre for Transport and Society at the University of West of England to conduct a review. We will publish the findings in autumn 2016, and use them to inform our next steps in this important area.


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