Half worried about driving ability post-lockdown

Almost half of drivers do not feel confident about driving on the motorways after the end of the latest lockdown in the UK, a report has claimed.

The study, by electronics firm Nextbase, claims that while many haven’t driven long distances for more than a year, as many as 46% of people setting off such journeys are “extremely anxious”, with more than one in ten feeling “like they have forgotten how to drive”.

Additionally, some 42% of the total 1,500 motorists polled said their driving skills were “more than a little rusty”. Almost a fifth – 19% – admit they are dreading driving a long distance, while 47% confess they would benefit from doing driving lessons to get them back on the road safely.

The study found that 90% of motorists have driven far less during lockdown than before with almost a third – 32% – admitting they have “barely used a car”. In-fact the average British driver has only been behind the wheel for up to five hours a week over the past year – less than half as much as they were pre-pandemic. 

The study also found that 38% think we’re set to see an increase in road rage post lockdown and 20% polled said they plan to take inspiration from social distancing and drive at a much slower pace once back on the road. The study also found that 42% are looking forward to having a bit of freedom once more, by being back on the road.

Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman, who worked with Nextbase on the research, said: “For many of us, our cars represent our freedom. Suddenly having nowhere to go has also meant having no good reason to use the car.

“So it is not surprising that almost half of UK motorists are dreading getting behind the wheel again. Many of the fears and anxieties that we have experienced around the pandemic have transferred to driving, which is the ultimate symbol of freedom and self-direction in our modern society.

“Anxieties about still being able to drive safely also reflect anxieties about how they are going to cope with uncertainty as the world opens back up again, and as they gradually get behind the wheel once more and take care, not just of their cars, but of life.

Bryn Booker of Nextbase, said: “With motorists anxious about how lockdown has affected driving skills and patience on the roads, and concern about an increase in road rage incidents, there are precautions every driver can take to make sure roads stay safe post-lockdown.

“A dash cam offers many solutions not just in the event of an incident, but as a deterrent – we’ve found that 54% of people will adjust their driving to be less aggressive if they see dash cams in the cars around them. With 58% of drivers saying they would keep a better distance from other cars if they had a dash cam.”

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