More than eight million of Britain’s 38m drivers ‘hardly ever’ drive on the motorway network, according to research from the RAC.
The research, published on 30 January and based on a survey of more than 1,700 drivers, also suggests that there are around 380,000 drivers who avoid the motorway completely.
Of those respondents who are ‘loath to drive on the motorway’, 68% cited speed as a reason while 52% felt they were more at risk of being in a collision, despite motorways being statistically among the safest roads.
Of the one in five respondents (22%) who rarely use motorways, 6% admitted they are not keen on motorway driving, while 12% said they rely on someone else to drive. The remainder (79%) claim never to have the need to use the motorway where they live and drive.
The RAC research suggests there is a willingness among some to address their dislike of motorway driving, with 29% saying they would be prepared to have a motorway driving lesson.
Simon Williams, RAC spokesman, said: “While there are many parts of the country where our 2,300 miles of motorway don’t stretch to, it is surprising to find out that so many motorists don’t, or won’t, drive on a motorway.
“Despite motorways statistically being some of our safest roads, many people still seem to rely on partners, friends and family when they need to use one. And with only 29% of reluctant motorway drivers saying they are open to taking motorway lessons, it seems that for the remainder (71%) a three or four-lane road with speeds of up to 70 mph is sadly just a step too far.
“The message to them has to be: with the right instruction and advice, plenty of care and practice, confidence in motorway driving can easily grow; at the same time, it is also important from a road safety perspective that people drive within their comfort zones so for some it may be best to stick to local roads where they are most confident.”