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Are soaring fuel prices ‘fuelling’ safer driving habits?

Soaring fuel costs have left a hole in the pocket of motorists across the country, but it could be having an unexpected positive impact on the safety of Britain’s roads, but does this mean fewer vehicles coming into recycler’s yards?

 

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Image credit: ANGUK/Shutterstock.com

The latest research commissioned by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, revealed that potentially millions of motorists have changed their driving habits for the better amid the fuel crisis.

Of 1,004 motorists surveyed, 72 per cent stated that they had changed how they travel due to travel costs. Of this number, 38 per cent stated that they now drive more economically as a result of rising fuel costs, while almost one in five (19 per cent) have taken extra care to stick to the speed limit.

This respectively represents up to 12.5 million and 6 million of the 33 million people in possession of a full driving licence in the UK who have adopted slower or smoother driving habits in recent times.

The devastating impact of driving too fast is demonstrated by Department for Transport statistics, which show that exceeding the speed limit was reported as a factor in 7 per cent of all accidents, but of these accidents, 17 per cent were fatalities. In addition, exceeding the speed limit and travelling too fast for conditions were factors in 13 per cent of all accidents, and these accidents accounted for 27 per cent of all fatalities.

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Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart said:

“The rising cost of fuel is yet another added expenditure in this difficult cost of living crisis, and our research demonstrates that many have been forced to rethink their driving habits in an effort to keep their fuel costs to a minimum.

Driving slower and more economically will no doubt help keep the pain at the pumps down, but another positive impact of this is, of course, road safety. We would urge those who have adopted slower and smoother driving habits to maintain these habits, regardless of fuel prices. This way, motorists will not only save money on fuel and travel greener but also potentially save lives.”

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: 

“Inexplicably, fuel prices rose yet again with petrol hitting a new all-time high of 191.24p per litre and diesel just short of another record at 199.01p.

We can see absolutely no rhyme or reason why average forecourt prices are still going up, given that the wholesale price of both fuels has been falling for weeks.

Drivers up and down the country have a right to know why they’re having to pay what they are for fuel when the costs to retailers right now are so much less they were a few weeks ago.

Suggestions that the Government might be about to announce more support for hard-pressed drivers are welcome. A cut to the price of forecourt fuel really can’t come soon enough.

If it’s a further fuel duty cut that the Chancellor decides on, it’s absolutely vital that this is passed on in full immediately by retailers to give drivers some respite from these historic high prices. It’s also vital the Government monitors the wholesale market and closely scrutinises retailer margins.”

To learn more about IAM RoadSmart, visit www.iamroadsmart.com.

Safer driving habits could mean fewer accidents on the roads, but how will this affect the vehicle recycling industry? 

Sources: www.iamroadsmart.com  www.wheelswithinwales.uk

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.