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News digest: UK commuters driven around the bend

A round-up of this week’s news from the world of fleet and motoring

Nearly half of commuters have considered quitting their job because of congested road

The UK’s increasingly congested roads are stressing out commuters to such an extent that nearly half have considered changing their job to avoid them, according to new research.

The survey by Goodyear Tyres UK found 49% of motorists had thought about changing their job as the stress of getting stuck in traffic was affecting their wellbeing – 4% even admitted to breaking down in tears.

Of the 2,000 motorists (250 of which drive for business purposes), asked for the survey 40% would consider moving to a rural area or the suburbs to get away from city traffic.

Traffic jams had caused 58% of people to be late for work and 9% said congestion has caused them to be “the most stressed they have ever been in their lives”.

Of those questioned, 37% claimed congested roads had made them swear and 15% admitted to making rude hand gestures out the window.

However, 28% say they use the time to sing, 24% talk to friends and family via handsfree and 17% plan their meals for the week during a traffic jam.

Congestion is becoming an increasingly big problem on Britain’s roads, with traffic hitting record levels this year, according to provisional government figures.

Drivers back calls to lower drink-drive limit in England and Wales

The majority of drivers in England and Wales back calls for the government to lower the legal blood-alcohol limit to bring it in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Research for the 2017 Report on Motoring found six in 10 (59%) drivers supported a reduction. Of those, 38% said they would like to see the drink-drive limit reduced to 50mg across the whole of the UK, while 21% would prefer it to go lower still to 20mg.

The current legal level of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood limit has been in place since a legal maximum was introduced in England and Wales in 1967.

Scotland cut the limit to 50mg in December 2014, and Northern Ireland is currently in the process of lowering the legal limit to the same.

Government statistics for the UK show there has been little change in the number of casualties from reported road accidents between 2012 and 2016 where one of the drivers or riders was impaired by alcohol.

Data from Police Scotland shows that in the nine months after the new 50mg limit was introduced in December 2014 the number of drink-driving offences fell by 12.5% compared with the same period the previous year, with the total number of offences dropping from 4,208 to 3,682.

Motorists warned of risk of deer collisions during autumn

A new campaign has warned of the heightened risk of deer-vehicle collisions during autumn.

Highways England and The Deer Initiative campaign comes it is estimated that there could be up to 74,000 deer-related motor vehicle accidents in the UK in 2017, resulting in 400 to 700 human injuries and 20 deaths.

There is considered to be a higher risk of accidents during the deer rut between October to December.

The highest risk of a deer-vehicle collision is between sunset and midnight, and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.

Senior principle environmental advisor at Highways England, Tony Sangwine said:

“Safety is our top priority, which is why we care about people’s journeys. We are working with The Deer Initiative to warn motorists about the risks caused by deer, when they suddenly appear on the road, particularly at both dawn and dusk.”

“With most deer movement coinciding with key commuting hours, we are urging drivers to be more aware during this time of year so that they can complete their journeys safely and without incident.”

Highways England’s advice motorists to check speeds and stay alert when there are deer warning signs or they are travelling through a heavily wooded or forested stretch of road and to use full-beam when they can. They also warn motorists to avoid swerving to avoid a deer as this could put them and other road users in greater danger.

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