So many vehicles, so little patience, motorists lament

The AXA Road User Behaviour Survey found that a little over half of motorists feel the roads have become more dangerous, compared with 62 per cent last year.
The AXA Road User Behaviour Survey found that a little over half of motorists feel the roads have become more dangerous, compared with 62 per cent last year.ST FILE PHOTO

Road user behaviour poll also finds drivers know danger of texting but still do so

More than half of Singapore's motorists feel the island's roads have become more dangerous in recent years, a survey has found.

They said more aggressive drivers, a perception that everyone is in a hurry, and an increase in the numbers of vehicles on the roads are making them feel less safe.

A total of 526 drivers were polled in the AXA Road User Behaviour Survey in April and May. The findings were released yesterday.

Those surveyed were between the ages of 18 and 59, and, while the majority were car drivers, motorcyclists, cabbies and goods vehicle drivers were also included.

While 51 per cent of the respondents indicated that driving on Singapore's roads has become more dangerous, this was still better than last year, when 62 per cent said they felt that this was so.

AXA Singapore's chief corporate responsibility officer, Ms Kwek Perroy Li Choo, said: "It's good to see that fewer people perceive driving in Singapore to be unsafe."

She said better awareness of road safety, through campaigns from organisations like the Traffic Police, may have helped. The prevalence of vehicular dashboard cameras could also mean that motorists are reminded to drive more carefully.

The study also found a gap between what motorists saw as unsafe habits and how they actually behaved on the roads.

About 93 per cent agreed that texting while driving was dangerous, yet 27 per cent admitted to doing it.

Likewise, about 85 per cent said answering their phones without a hands-free kit was dangerous but 37 per cent said they did it anyway.

Among the reasons they gave were that they felt the need to answer calls and messages - many of which were job-related - in a timely manner.

Some 63 per cent also admitted to driving at more than 10 kmh above the legal limits at times.

As to why they sped, more than half said they were pressed for time and 31 per cent said it was because the roads were clear.

Mr Josh Tan, 35, said he feels the roads are becoming more unsafe.

The shipping executive said: "I see tailgating and sudden lane changes happening more often. Everyone wants to be on their way and when it's congested, people can turn impatient and reckless."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2015, with the headline 'So many vehicles, so little patience, motorists lament'. Print Edition | Subscribe