One in six UK drivers feel anxious from motorway driving, says new research

New research reveals that motorway driving causes one in six UK drivers to feel anxious, with one in ten admitting to taking longer routes because they’re so fearful of driving on motorways.  

ATS Euromaster, the tyre, MOT and vehicle services provider, surveyed UK drivers and found that 92% don’t enjoy driving on smart motorways.  

News from the Government also states that smart motorways will no longer be built in the UK after a flurry of complaints. The concern around smart motorways comes from drivers having no hard shoulder, which can be vital in case of breakdowns and accidents. Without it, cars can be left stranded and inaccessible to the emergency services, said the ATS Euromaster report.

The survey also found that women are more likely than men to ask their partner to drive instead of them on the motorway (one in nine women versus just one in twenty-five men) and that men are considerably more confident (45% vs 32%) when it comes to driving on the motorway. 

To help ease drivers’ anxieties, ATS Euromaster created a Motorway Breakdown 101 guide. It provides a range of tips on what not to do and how to get your car back onto the motorway. 

When comparing genders, it seems men are less put off by motorway driving. Indeed, 29% of women claimed to hate driving on motorways, compared to just 18% of men. The survey also found motorway driving 22% of women to feel anxious, compared to just 10% of men.  

ATS Euromaster found that the UK’s least favourite motorway was, in fact, a smart motorway, the M25. The London Orbital Motorway topped the poll ahead of over 50 other motorways, with peak London traffic and failing smart technology evidently frustrating commuters. 

The top ten cities where people most dislike motorway driving are:  

Position City  Percentage who dislike motorway driving 
1. Norwich 36.6% 
2. Newcastle 30.4% 
3. Bristol 29.0% 
4. Liverpool 26.8% 
5. Sheffield 26.8% 
6. Southampton 24.8% 
7. Birmingham 24.0% 
8. London 22.5% 
9. Nottingham 20.5% 
10. Leeds 20.3% 

Simon Wayne, Technical Support Engineer at ATS Euromaster commented on the results: “With the news that smart motorway tech leaves drivers at risk, our data reveals an almost universal dislike for smart motorway technology among UK drivers. It’s perhaps not surprising that the M25, a smart motorway, was ranked the worst motorway in the UK to drive on. 

“The results also point to a direct correlation between a lack of confidence in motorway driving, with drivers reporting anxiety and avoidance as results of driving on the motorway, despite them being statistically among the country’s safest roads.” 



Related Stories


All the latest highways news direct to your inbox every week day

Subscribe now