Has the Covid-19 pandemic changed your driving habits? According to the study presented by Autopistas, many drivers have adapted their driving, but not for the better, increasing speed, forgetting indicators, and not respecting safety.

More speed

The study has shown that 58% of light vehicles and 53% of heavy vehicles travel on motorways above the maximum speed limits. Let’s remember that these limits are 120 kilometres per hour for light vehicles, 90 kilometres per hour for heavy vehicles and 100 kilometres per hour for coaches.

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This has led to an increase in the average speed, taking into account all vehicles: it has gone from 111.8 kilometres per hour to 112.6 kilometres per hour. The highest speeds are recorded on weekends.

Indicators matter

The report also revealed an alarming fact: how little we use indicators when we are going to overtake or change lanes. Almost 75% of drivers do not correctly signal these manoeuvres, despite the fact that it is mandatory.

Better, at a distance

The regulations require driving while respecting a minimum safety distance, something that 15% of light vehicles do not comply with, according to the Autopistas report.

The mobile, a danger

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The study also determines that more than 3% of drivers continue to use a mobile phone while driving. Standing for an hour at any point on the highway, we can see up to 35 people with their mobile in hand while they are behind the wheel.

We must not forget

Knowing the results of this study serves as a reminder that driving at an inappropriate speed increases the probability of dying or suffering serious injuries in the event of an accident. It also limits our ability to react to any unforeseen event. It is the so-called “tunnel effect”: the faster we go, the more our field of vision is reduced, so we also decrease our ability to anticipate.

Regarding the use of turn signals, Autopistas emphasises that it is mandatory to signal any manoeuvre that we are going to carry out, as stated in the General Traffic Regulations. Not using the indicators carries a financial penalty of 200 euro.

The regulations also oblige us to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of us, which guarantees us to be able to brake in the event of an unforeseen event without risk of collision.

The mobile phone can be a great ally for driving or a dangerous enemy with fatal consequences. In this sense, Autopistas reminds us that using the telephone while driving causes us a triple distraction: visual, cognitive, and manual. For example, dialling a number on the phone when we drive at 120 kilometres per hour means that we will blindly travel more than 400 meters (about 4 football fields). This distance increases if, instead of a call, we write a message. According to the data, around 30% of traffic accidents are caused by distractions.

Although the use of seat belts has become widespread in recent years, Autopistas consider it necessary to continue insisting it is used because it reduces, by half, the risk of death in the event of an accident. It should be remembered that last summer, 27% of people who lost their lives in a traffic accident were not wearing their seat belts.

 

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