Motorists struggle being back behind the wheel again after lockdown

  • A fifth of UK motorists have found it difficult to get used to driving again after being off the road during lockdown
  • Average number of miles driven down from 583 miles per month to 90 miles over the past 28 days
  • Top errors made by drivers since lockdown include stalling, struggling to parallel park, forgetting to indicate and kerbing car wheels
  • Almost half of motorists are concerned that the standard of road users’ driving will be worse now restrictions have been lifted - although one third of the drivers surveyed said they’d been driving more cautiously since the start of the pandemic

- A fifth of motorists have struggled to get to grips with driving again - after being off the road during lockdown.

The average UK car is driven more than 7,000 miles per year - or an average of 583 miles per month, according to MOT data.

But a survey of 2,000 motorists revealed that over the past 28 days the average driver has covered just 90 miles - with 30 per cent driving 25 miles or fewer.

With so little driving, 18 per cent say they have struggled to get back to normal behind the wheel of a car.

Of those who have struggled to adjust back to the road, 28 per cent had stalled their car, 21 per cent had scraped their wheels on the kerb and 21 per cent forgotten to indicate.

Four in ten motorists said they hadn’t visited a filling station over the past 28 days, with 12 per cent admitting that had forgotten which side or end they fill up or charge their car.

The survey, carried out by Hyundai, also revealed almost half (48 per cent) of motorists are concerned that the standard of road users' driving will be worse now restrictions have started to be lifted.

More than four in 10 (44 per cent) think road users have been driving faster during lockdown, with just 10 per cent thinking they have been driving more slowly.

The study follows numerous cases where police forces across the UK have spoken out about shocking driving during lockdown.

However, one third of the drivers surveyed said they have been driving more cautiously since the start of the pandemic.

Hyundai conducted the research as its showrooms across England reopen following new guidelines from the government.

To boost road safety, the car manufacturer’s Kona Electric model is fitted with ‘Smartsense’ - which is made up of numerous pieces of intelligent technology designed to protect occupants as well as people outside of the vehicle.

This includes radar and camera sensors on the Kona Electric which can automatically brake if it detects a possible collision with a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist.

It ties in with research by the manufacturer which revealed that since the start of lockdown, 18 per cent have had a near-miss with a cyclist as either a driver or pedestrian.

More than four in ten (44 per cent) surveyed by OnePoll for Hyundai admitted they were concerned about the prospect of an increase of cyclists on the road.

Engineers working on the zero emission Kona Electric, which has a range of up to 278 miles, have also developed Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which reduces the risk of a collision with approaching traffic when reversing out of narrow areas with poor visibility.

A spokesperson for Hyundai UK said: “Absence can make the heart grow fonder and our research found that 45 per cent of motorists have missed driving because of lockdown.

“Like with many things, there can be a few teething issues after a break and driving is no different. With a little care and practice though, I’m sure that motorists will soon get their confidence back behind the wheel.”

Top 10 errors made by drivers since lockdown

1. Stalled
2. Struggled to parallel park
3. Forgot to indicate
4. Scraped wheels on kerb
5. Had to think carefully about what each pedal does
6. Not checking mirrors when pulling away
7. Forgot where the filler cap was
8. Forgot to turn the ignition key
9. Not shut the door properly
10. Not put their seatbelt on

More information on the Hyundai Kona Electric - https://www.hyundai.co.uk/new-cars/kona-electric