According to a new survey almost a quarter of drivers in the UK believe smart motorways are unsafe.
The recent survey by Kwik Fit also reportedly found that most motorists treat smart motorways as if they’re a traditional motorways, and stay out of the inside lane even if it is open to vehicles.
The Sunday Times Driving reports that under a third of respondents said they were often uncertain whether or not they should be on a hard shoulder due to the lack of clear signs, with one-in-five admitting they weren’t aware when the hard shoulder was in use.
Around 13% of people that Kwik Fit surveyed believed that drivers are forbidden from using the hard shoulder at all times, even on designated stretches of smart motorway.
A fear of colliding with a stationary vehicle was also mentioned and 15% of those surveyed said they were worried they could pick up a puncture or be hit by debris if they drive on the hard shoulder of a smart motorway.
Kwik Fit’s communications director Roger Griggs told The Sunday Times Driving, “These findings reflect the concerns and uncertainty that many drivers have when driving on smart motorways. It’s clear that if many drivers are avoiding using the hard shoulder when it’s open, then the extra capacity which smart motorways are designed to provide is not being utilised properly and we will end up being in a worse position than with the original road layout”.