Lane drifters threaten motorway safety

December 6 2017   | Region: Cymru Wales, East Midlands, East of England, London, North East & Cumbria, North West, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire & the Humber

Lane drifters threaten motorway safety

Action is urged to deter drivers from drifting out of their lanes on motorways and dual carriageways after research revealed that one in nine vehicles exhibit this behaviour.

The project commissioned by insurer Direct Line shows that middle lane drivers are responsible for 53% of instances of lane drifting, putting themselves and others at risk of collision. These figures come after researchers from the company studied over 70 hours of footage across major UK roads.

The firm says that one of the major triggers causing cars to depart their lane appears to be the passing of lorries alongside. Drivers reacting to large vehicles were seen to overcompensate and drift into the next lane.

“This research highlights the benefit of lane keep assist and lane departure warning systems and we would strongly recommend that those in the market for a new car consider a model with this technology,” commented Direct Line director of car insurance Rob Miles.

He added: “If drivers feel tired or are struggling to maintain their focus then they should find a safe place to pull over and take a break.”

The firm’s research also indicates that more than half of drivers have experienced another motorist drifting into their lane on a motorway or dual carriageway in the last year, while a third admitted they lack lane discipline and have drifted onto the rumble strips on a motorway or dual carriageway.

Almost half of motorists who have drifted blamed losing concentration with more 34% claiming that road lanes are too narrow and 29% saying tiredness had caused them to drift out of lane.

♦ Changes to the driving test have come into force this week including a requirement to follow directions from a satellite navigation system and an extension of the independent driving part of the test.

The measures have been brought in as an attempt to reduce fatal road collisions among young people. Reversing manoeuvres have also been amended and those being assessed will now be asked two safety questions during the test.

Photo: (Highways England)

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