Car owners’ New Year’s resolutions: how we aim to be better drivers

New Year's resolutions

Drivers are vowing to do a lot less of this in 2018

The majority of us make New Year’s resolutions. For many these might involve joining a gym, quitting smoking, drinking less, eating more healthily or stopping swearing. But for some of us, resolving to change and be better human beings might include something to do with motoring.

Some new research conducted by pre-17-year old driving school Young Driver found that older motorists still think they’ve got plenty to learn. Although one in five (18 per cent) confidently claimed to be perfect drivers, plenty of others felt they had work to do. Read on to find out what the most popular New Year’s resolutions for drivers are.

Performing regular car checks

In top spot for New Year’s resolutions are checking tyre pressures and engine oil level. One in four drivers (24 per cent) claim they’re going to be more diligent when it comes to basic car maintenance in 2018.

New Year's resolutions

Failure to perform essential checks could lead to cars conking out or becoming illegal as tyres fall below the 1.6mm minimum for tread depth.

Find out how to check your oil level here

Mobile phone use is still a problem

The researchers found that many drivers still use their mobile phone in the car, despite recent stiffer penalties. For 2018, 13 per cent have vowed to switch off their mobile phone while driving. And 11 per cent of drivers intend to stop checking for messages when at traffic lights. A further 8 per cent say they will stop using their handset at the wheel.

In April 2017, the law changed making it illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. The punishment was increased to six penalty points and a £200 fine. However, that doesn’t seem to have deterred drivers. The Daily Telegraph recently reported that since the law changed, more than 200 drivers a day have been prosecuted for using their phone at the wheel.

Changing the driving test was right

Many drivers want to get to grips with car control basics in 2018. Three of the top six New Year’s resolutions concern reversing. In top spot, nearly one in five drivers (17 per cent) claim they want to learn how to parallel park properly. Following closely, 15 per cent of drivers say they’d like to get better at reversing. And 13 per cent hope to perfect reversing into a parking bay.

In December 2017, the driving test was changed to put more emphasis on real-world manoeuvring. Now included in the test are driving forwards or reversing into parking bays plus parallel parking. Drivers may also be asked to pull up on the right side of the road and reverse for two car lengths before rejoining the traffic.

Keeping calm and carrying on

Many car owners are resolving to be kinder, more forgiving drivers in 2018. The researchers found that 14 per cent of drivers are vowing not to suffer from road rage in the coming year while 11 per cent say they’ll speed less frequently. A further 9 per cent claim they will be more courteous to other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians. And 5 per cent promise to no longer drive as close to the car in front.

Top motoring New Year’s resolutions for 2018

  1. Check tyre pressures and oil level regularly (24 per cent)
  2. Learn how to parallel park properly (17 per cent)
  3. Conquer fear of driving on motorways (16 per cent)
  4. Get better at reversing (15 per cent)
  5. Not suffer from road rage (14 per cent)
  6. Perfect reversing into a parking bay (13 per cent)
  7. Switch off phone when driving (13 per cent)
  8. Speed less (11 per cent)
  9. Stop checking messages when at traffic lights (11 per cent)
  10. Conquer fear of driving on country roads (10 per cent)
  11. Be more courteous to other road users (9 per cent)
  12. Stop using a phone at the wheel (8 per cent)
  13. Always use indicators when turning (9 per cent)
  14. Use mirrors more (8 per cent)
  15. Not drive so close to the car in front (5 per cent)

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