Car sharing reduces risk of accidents

13 February 2006

  • Car-sharing schemes may make roads safer
  • Just 48% of UK motorists support such schemes
  • Government keen to encourage more car sharing

Car-sharing lanes could be coming to the UK, like this one in America

There's strong evidence that car sharing reduces the risk of accidents, according to a new survey.

The survey, carried out by Privilege insurance, reveals that if you share your car journey with friends, family or colleagues, you are half as likely to be involved in an accident than solo drivers.

Of the 2000 respondents to the survey, 39% said they had lost concentration when driving, but only 22% said they had done so when driving with a passenger. 20% said they had been pulled over by the police when driving solo, compared to just 9% who said that they had been stopped when driving with a passenger.

The survey suggests that car-sharing, or car-pool schemes, not only have environmental benefits, but also safety benefits. However, the survey found that less than half (48%) of motorists supported the introduction of car pool lanes on key commuter routes, although over 20% say they would be more likely to share cars if special lanes were introduced.

On average only 8% of UK motorists currently share cars, although 17% expect to share car-share by 2010. The Government would like to encourage more car-sharing, and is planning pilot studies on the M61 and M62, while new car sharing lanes called High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in South Gloucestershire have resulted in a 12% shift in the proportion of single occupant cars to car sharers.

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