In an AA Motor Insurance survey 71% of motorists said they witness other drivers driving too fast every day. The survey of over 16,300 people showed that excessive speed is an endemic habit among far too many Irish drivers.
32% of motorists admitted to doing it themselves. In a lot of cases respondents made individual comments about behaviours that they see every day and many were candid enough to admit that they have been guilty from time to time.
“I think we all accept that Irish drivers generally are a bit too lax about the rules of the road.” Says Faughnan. “But speed is the most lethal bad habit you can form. It makes a crash more likely and it makes the outcome more severe.”
The survey also showed that men are more likely to drive faster than women. 35% of males admitted to frequently driving at excessive speeds compared to 30% of females.
2012 saw the lowest number of road deaths on record but 2013 is gearing up to be worse. So far this year there have been 128 road deaths* which is a 9% rise on the figure this time last year. August has been a bad month with 17 fatalities; this is 13% of the total number of road fatalities so far in 2013.
Less tragically speeding is the cause of a lot of minor collisions and a lot of small insurance claims. In an ordinary traffic context pushing the speed up just a little bit makes it much more likely that a mistake will end in a shunt.
“Being involved in a crash can leave you really shaken. It is normal for people to be flustered and desperately want to get away from the scene. They often forget about important details and regret it afterwards.” Says Faughnan.
AA Motor Insurance advice when a minor crash happens
The AA is advises motorists to know what they should do at the scene of a traffic collision. If you are involved in a crash, firstly make sure everyone involved is ok. The next thing you’ll need to do is to take down the other vehicles registration, the person’s name, address, phone number and motor insurance policy number. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the damage done to both cars and to photograph the position of the vehicles on the road. This is helpful if there is a dispute. After that, call the Gardaí and then your motor insurance company.
Buying cheap car insurance sounds great short-term but if you’re involved in a collision you could find out the hard way that much of the bill will have to come straight from your own bank account. Some motor insurers will leave off very important parts of your insurance in order to offer a cheaper rate. For example if you’re car has to be towed away and you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, you’ll be kicking yourself if you haven’t included a car rental on your motor insurance. AA Motor Insurance will give you a courtesy car for up to 10 days.
If you’re problems are more immediate, say you have to get to work or collect your children from school, driving someone else’s car might be the quickest option. “Getting you back on the road again is a priority in The AA, that’s why we offer fully comprehensive insurance to our customers when they drive other cars. It really helps when time is a considerable factor.” says Faughnan.
For more details on AA Motor Insurance, click here.
* Figure taken for www.garda.ie on Fri 30th Aug at midday.