Lockdown has affected driver confidence

The AA finds that 3.6 million feel more nervous driving now than before lockdown

Many drivers feel less confident on the road now than they did before the COVID-19 lockdown, according to new research.

With traffic levels gradually returning to normal, an AA/Populus poll asked drivers how they feel driving now considering other drivers’ behaviour.

The survey found one in ten (11%) feel more nervous driving around others now than before lockdown, equating to around 3.6 million drivers, while 17% feel more confident getting on the road post-lockdown.

Overall 15% of women said they feel more nervous driving now compared to less than one in ten men (9%).

Millennials (aged 25-34) topped the polls for feeling the most nervous, alongside drivers aged 35-44 years old (both 13%).

Drivers in Northern Ireland feel the most nervous out of all geographical locations (13%).

More men said they feel confident driving now than women; 18% agreed with the statement compared to 15% of women.

More than a third of young people said they feel more confident driving now given others’ behaviour on the roads (35% 18-24s). Millennials were also at the top of the table for post-lockdown confidence (24% 25-34s). 

Drivers from Wales feel the most confident (21%); followed by those in London (20%) and the North West of England (20%).

Edmund King, AA Charitable Trust director, said: “It’s not surprising that some driving skills are rusty after being cooped up at home for a long period.  

“Roadworks and closures can make some familiar routes confusing and put some nervous drivers off getting back into their routine. Added to which, we all got used to quieter roads during lockdown and the change back to busier roads might feel intimidating for some. But it’s important for people not to feel trapped at home in a self-imposed lockdown because they are feeling a bit rusty behind the wheel.

“Lots of drivers take refresher lessons to brush up their skills. It’s amazing how just a couple of hours can improve someone’s confidence and competence.”

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