Fifth of drivers get highway horrors

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 12:00
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Ahead of a busy bank holiday weekend, almost a quarter (23%) of drivers have admitted to feeling anxious on the UK’s motorway network, according to research from Nissan. The survey was conducted to highlight the benefits of ProPILOT, Nissan’s advanced driver assistance technology which is available on both the UK’s best-selling crossover, the Nissan Qashqai and the UK’s best-selling EV, the Nissan LEAF.

39% of drivers admit they feel scared, nervous, uneasy or uncertain behind the wheel in general. Motorway driving is the second biggest skill the public feel they lack confidence in (21% of drivers), beaten only by the nation’s fear of parking (27% of drivers).

The UK’s least confident motorway drivers
1. London (27%)

2. Yorkshire and the Humber (26%)

3. East Anglia (25%)

4. East Midlands (24%)

5. West Midlands (23%)

Numerous aspects of motorway cruising knock UK driver confidences. These include (based on multiple selections by respondents):

  • 55% are nervous when hemmed in between cars and lorries on multi-lane highways
  • 48% said they are anxious about using the slip road to join or leave a motorway
  • 43% cited a dislike of overtaking lorries or big vehicles
  • 41% admitted to avoiding lane-changes
  • 38% are afraid of colliding with another vehicle in their blind spot
  • 29% worry about pulling into a lane the same time as another vehicle
  • 16% simply don’t like to vary their cruising speed






Almost one in two drivers (47%) also admitted they have taken a smaller road to avoid larger, busier routes. One in 20 drivers are so nervous they have taken a detour of as much as 26 miles.

Perhaps surprisingly, Londoners are the most fearful of driving on motorways (26%), while the Welsh are the least nervous (14%). When it comes to generational differences, 18-24 year olds are least confident on motorways (26% of drivers), versus just 11% of those over 65.

Almost half (47%) of the motorists surveyed believe that driver assistance technologies, such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent Cruise Control, either would help or do help make them more confident.

Alex Smith, Managing Director, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd. says, “As we head towards a busy weekend for the UK’s motorway network, it’s concerning that many motorists feel they lack confidence in the everyday aspects of multi-lane driving. Modern vehicle technologies, such as those developed under Nissan Intelligent Mobility, can play a key role in supporting a positive driver experience. It’s encouraging that a large proportion of drivers recognise the impact these can have on their confidence at the wheel.”

Nissan’s ProPILOT is one of the most advanced assistance technologies on the road today that enhances a driver’s control by assisting with steering, acceleration and braking. It works in a single lane on highways, and is optimised for low-speed congestion and high-speed cruising.

Simple and intuitive to use, ProPILOT is activated by pressing a dedicated ProPILOT button on the Qashqai’s steering wheel. Once active it maintains the vehicle’s speed and a safe distance from the vehicle in front. If the vehicle in front changes speed, the ProPILOT system will react and alter the Qashqai’s speed to maintain a safe distance.

The Qashqai will slow to a complete stop if traffic conditions require. It moves off automatically if the car is stationary for approximately three seconds or less. If it’s longer, drivers should press the RESUME button or lightly tap the accelerator.

By liberating drivers from some of the more mundane elements of motoring, ProPILOT can help to reduce fatigue and stress – particularly on motorways or during heavy traffic – and improve safety, enhancing overall control and confidence.

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