Drivers predict gridlock within 20 yearsRAC poll also reveals call for lower drink limit

10 July 2008

Cars in a traffic jam

More than half of drivers think Britain's roads will be gridlocked in the next 20 years, a survey from the RAC has found.

Three in four motorists want the legal drink-drive limit to be reduced, while more than 20% think driving is less pleasurable than it was 20 years ago, the poll also showed.

Nearly a third of those questioned have been a victim of driving behaviour which has left them feeling physically threatened yet half admitted to shouting, swearing and making rude gestures themselves.

Drink drive limit

Annual mileage has dipped over the last 20 years but 92% of those surveyed reckoned Britain is a car-dependent society and 73% said they would find it very difficult to cope without a car.

In a poll of 1,116 British motorists, the RAC found that 51% expected gridlock in the next 20 years, while three-quarters believed the UK drink-drive limit should be reduced from the current level of 80mg of alcohol to 50mg.

Top causes of stress on the road were motorists driving too close behind, drivers using their mobiles while at the wheel and drivers who do not pull over for faster cars on motorways.

Road rage

Road rage and inconsiderate driving was seen as far more of a nuisance than congestion.

British drivers' annual mileage has dropped from 10,200 in 1988 to 9,070 in 2008, with parents doing more than 1,000 miles a year on the school run or taking children to leisure activities.

A third of motorists said they went on shorter journeys than they did 20 years ago, with 9% of drivers admitting they never walk anywhere.

Fuel prices

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: 'The campaign against drink- driving has been one of the success stories of the last 20 years, and RAC shares the clear public appetite for government to get even tougher with a lower drink-drive limit.

'This reduction should be accompanied by random breath-testing and continued focus on the most serious offenders.'

He went on: 'All eyes are focused on rising fuel prices, but there's another menace on our roads that we can control - our own behaviour. It's worrying that millions of motorists are victims of a driving behaviour (road rage) that didn't even have a name 20 years ago.

'But despite motorists being victims themselves, it's shocking that even more drivers are prepared to admit to swearing, rudely gesturing and shouting at other drivers. This worrying behaviour becomes downright dangerous when you consider they are behind the wheel of a tonne and a half of metal.'

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