One-in-five motorists feel more anxious about driving since lockdown

One-in-five UK drivers and riders are feeling more anxious about being on the road since the start of lockdown, a new survey has found.

Conducted by road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, the study of 1,000 drivers discovered that many motorists are suffering in silence and aren’t getting the support they need in order to deal with feelings of anxiety brought on as a result of the lockdown period.

Furthermore, the group has expressed concerns that drivers could have their on-road confidence further diminished by a secondary lockdown period.

Some 65 per cent of those spoken to felt worried about offering someone a lift in their car or on their motorcycle for fear of contracting coronavirus, while the increased number of cyclists on the roads is causing the most amount of stress for those drivers in Scotland.

Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, said: “Confidence is a major factor in how we drive or ride, particularly for those who have been driving or riding less in recent months.

“A loss of confidence can increase anxiety which in turn puts us at greater risk of being involved in an incident on the road.”

Those in Northern Ireland have found more pedestrians on the roads and pavements to be the greatest source of stress, while 54 per cent of motorists in the West Midlands were most concerned by other people’s driving. In Wales and London, 75 per cent and 67 per cent of respective motorists were worried about catching Covid-19 after giving someone a lift in their car or on their bike.

Gladman added: “The good news is there are some simple things we can all do to make sure we maintain our confidence and minimise the risk of anxiety creeping in when we are driving or riding. As the foundation to all safer driving and riding, these reflect a common-sense approach that is easy to make part of your everyday driving and riding.

“Through planning and preparation before your journey, staying focused on the road and avoiding distractions and by sharing the road considerately with all other road users, being mindful of our limits and taking time to get the basics right, we can all stay sharp and keep safe.”