One in five drivers feel less confident getting behind the wheel again after lockdown restrictions ease further on 12th April
Well over half (61 per cent) of drivers reveal they would now choose to walk or cycle instead of taking the car
As the nation looks forward to lockdown restrictions easing further on 12th April, research conducted by breakdown provider Green Flag* has revealed that many drivers now feel less confident getting behind the wheel after not driving as frequently as they used to.
It's no surprise that lockdown will have changed the behaviour of some drivers and Green Flag's research looked closer at the reasoning behind why some drivers have been put off getting back in the car.
An increase in cars being out on the road was one of the biggest concerns for UK drivers (20 per cent), who have become accustomed to roads being quieter and less congested over the course of the last year. Other drivers who haven't been driving regularly are also a worry to many - a fifth (20 per cent) stated finding other driver behaviour a source of hesitation for getting behind the wheel, with other reasons cited including having to spend money on petrol (18 per cent), feeling out of practice (14 per cent) and even the fear of accidentally violating lockdown restrictions (12 per cent).
Despite the nervousness though, average drives per week are expected to increase in line with the outdoor attractions, shops and restaurants being able to open their doors once more. Drivers stated they anticipate driving six times a week from the 12th April - up a staggering 50 per cent from the four drives they were making during lockdown.
There are countless reasons for Brits to be travelling and driving long distances as lockdown lifts. When it comes to the journeys' drivers are looking forward to making again, almost a third (32 per cent) are most excited at the prospect of being able to drive to see much missed friends and family. Interestingly though, for over a quarter (26 per cent) it seems that being stuck inside with our families for the past year has been almost too much! One in four drivers (26 per cent) admitted they were looking forward to driving more simply as an excuse to get a break from their immediate household.
But is this change in driving behaviour here to stay? The survey revealed that recent restrictions have urged well over half (61 per cent) of British drivers to take up walking or cycling instead and is now their favoured method of transport. However, with restrictions set to relax every month until June, this might differ as the allure of a long drive becomes too tempting.
Mark Newberry, Commercial Director at Green Flag said:'After a year dominated by varying lockdown restrictions, it will come as no surprise that people are looking forward to seeing loved ones again and making trips to spend time with friends and family, after an extended period of time apart.
'It is understandable however, that a percentage of drivers will feel nervous about getting back out on the roads again, especially if they have driven less during lockdown. We urge everyone before setting off on their journeys to carry out some simple safety checks on their cars, such as checking tyre pressure and vehicle fluids, to avoid breakdowns and ease driver nervousness. Also, if it's been a while, to get in their car and go for a shorter drive ahead of that big trip. Enjoy making those longed for trips and stay safe everyone.'
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Notes to Editors:
*Research conducted on 2,000 UK respondents (UK Drivers only), April, 2021, by Censuswide.
With over 40 years' experience, Green Flag provides customers with breakdown cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Customers have access to a network of breakdown operators across the UK and mainland Europe (Euro Plus cover required).
Green Flag Motoring Assistance is underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Green Flag and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.
Customers can find out more about Green Flag products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 1557, connecting via the Green Flag Rescue Me Application, or visiting www.greenflag.com