2011 AXA Road Safety Survey Report: Drivers Admitted to Driving after Taking Drugs, Drinking, and Medication or Using Mobile Devices while Driving

the AXA Group
2011-10-24 13:20 1484

Regulation & enforcement must be tightened now

HONG KONG, Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- AXA General Insurance Hong Kong Limited (AXAGI) releases the findings from its annual Road Safety Survey today, and discover that 4%, 17% and 32% of drivers surveyed admit to driving after taking drugs (drug driving), having more than the recommended alcohol intake (drunk driving) and taking medication (medication prior to driving) respectively, shedding new light on unexpected risks to road users of Hong Kong.

Survey shows the top three perceived dangerous driving behaviours were drug driving (88%), drunk driving (83%) and medication prior to driving (82%). Drug driving, added to the survey for the first time, topped the list. Billy Chan, CEO of AXAGI, believed that such high level of awareness can be attributed to the Road Safety Council's promotion on the danger of drug driving, drunk driving and medication prior to driving, which clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of public education. In addition, the awareness of medication prior to driving has risen to 82% from last year's 73%.

This annual survey, commissioned by AXAGI and conducted by The Nielsen Company, was carried out in the second quarter of year 2011. 500 drivers of private car, taxi, and light goods vehicles were interviewed. The purpose was to understand the driving habits of drivers and their awareness of road safety.

Mobile devices brought convenience and also dangers

With the growing popularity of smartphones and computer tablets, related questions were added to the survey. 32% of interviewees admitted to using their smartphones or tablets to surf the internet or read news during driving, diverted their attention on the road.

Report also pointed out that drivers of private car and light goods vehicle were more likely to engage in such behaviour, rates stood at 36% and 34% respectively, revealing that mobile devices not only bring more convenience to drivers, but at the same time increase the risks of driving. This is a worrisome situation.

Speeding ranked first, awareness of its danger was low

Speeding topped the list of the 10 most frequently engaged dangerous driving behaviours for two consecutive years. Survey revealed that 80% of interviewees have committed speeding (more than 10 kilometres an hour above limit), increased from last year's 75%.  In particular, 90% of light goods vehicle drivers surveyed admit to speeding, which increased by 14 percentage points from last year and is a serious threat to road safety.

Dangerous behaviours exhibited by other road users

Findings also reveal that other road users posed a threat to road safety. 72% of survey drivers perceived cyclists to be a danger to road safety, 56% and 33% surveyed drivers points out that pedestrians and passengers should also take responsibility on road safety. "Cyclists riding against the flow of traffic", "pedestrians dashing across the road without looking out for oncoming vehicles", and "passengers distracting drivers by talking to them" were the most frequently cited dangerous behaviours they exhibited, which might cause road accidents.  

Top three dangerous behaviours exhibited by others road users from the views of surveyed drivers

Riding against the flow traffic 36%
Failing to keep to the edge of the road 30%

Disobeying traffic-light signals


1. Dashing across the road without looking out for oncoming vehicles 56%
Not Obeying pedestrian crossing signals 50%

Crossing the road when the 'green man' is flashing


1. Distracting driver by talking to them 62%
Getting on and off while the vehicle is moving 46%

Distracting driver by making loud noises


Billy Chan said, "This survey gave us an in-depth understanding of driving habits and road safety awareness amongst drivers. Findings revealed that most interviewees (97%) perceived themselves responsible drivers, but many of them also honestly admitted to dangerous driving. Many viewed speeding, going through an amber light, changing lane without proper signaling not dangerous, and the engagement rates were on the rise. This could be why 4 out of 10 surveyed drivers perceived driving in Hong Kong unsafe."

He added, "Most interviewees believed that strengthening the penalties for dangerous driving had the most deterrent effect; at the same time, many thought promoting safe driving is not effective. However, the survey showed that the drivers' awareness on drug driving, drunk driving or medication prior to driving has increased, which is in line with the promotional effort spent by the Road Safety Council. In this perspective, public promotion is in fact effective. Therefore, AXA will continue our effort to promote and encourage safe driving in order to increase the road safety awareness and achieve the target of 'Zero Accident'. We believe prevention of traffic accident is the best way to protect the lives and properties of road users, therefore AXA is fully dedicated to promoting road safety worldwide, redefining the standard of motor insurance."

In an attempt to better promote road safety awareness in Asia, AXA launched the annual survey on road survey from 2009, and Hong Kong has been conducting this survey since 2010.  More information on the AXA Road Safety Survey, as well as safe driving tips can be found at AXAGI's website:

Attachment: AXA Road Safety Survey 2011 key focus

  1. Ranking of Frequency of Engagement in Dangerous Driving Behaviours
  2. Ranking of 10 Perceived Dangerous Driving Behaviours
  3. Ranking of 5 Dangerous Behaviours Exhibited by Others Road Users (Cyclists, Pedestrians, Passengers) from the View of Surveyed Drivers

About AXA General Insurance Hong Kong Limited

AXA General Insurance Hong Kong Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the AXA Group. The company began its operations in Hong Kong more than 170 years ago, under different setups. It has been focusing on growth in Hong Kong by providing a comprehensive range of general and health insurance products and services, offering financial protection to individual customers as well as commercial clients. As one of the top international general insurers in Hong Kong, the company's annual turnover of 2010 amounted to HK$762 million.

About the AXA Group

The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 214,000 employees serving 95 million clients. In 2010, IFRS revenues amounted to HK$944.7 billion* and IFRS underlying earnings to HK$40.5 billion*. AXA had HK$11,464.1 billion in assets under management as of 31 December 2010.

Media contact:

AXA General Insurance Hong Kong Limited  Strategic Communications Consultants Ltd
Kim Tam Lai Chow
Tel: +852-2830 1615 Tel: +852-2114 4341 / +852-9211 5524
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Winnie Xu Iris Pang
Tel: +852-2867 8657 Tel: +852-2114 4992 / +852-9226 9011
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Source: the AXA Group