1 March 2022

Fleet drivers uncertain of smart motorway safety

Motoring groups have some concerns as to the safety of the users on smart motorway sections.

While many fleet managers have welcomed the reduced congestion on these major routes and environmental groups have applauded the potential lowered emissions, pressure is mounting to provide more education for drivers, with research showing that one in ten drivers still don’t know what smart motorways are.

The majority of drivers (56%) agree that, if used correctly, smart motorways will ease congestion and increase road safety. However, abiding by the regulations around red ‘X’ lanes must be adhered to for these sections to run safely.

Up to 30% of motorists fear the lack of a hard shoulder may cause serious collisions due to a stationary vehicle ahead or not having an escape route to the left. Many would struggle to reach an Emergency Refuge Area if an emergency occurred and therefore avoid using the inside lane as a precaution.

As a result of the mounting concerns, the UK government have announced a five-year pause on the introduction of new smart motorways, to build a greater insight around road safety. This information will determine whether the hard shoulder, as it was, should be reinstated.

Read more on smart motorway safety on the FleetNews website.