Motor insurance: 4x4 vehicles 'unsafe on roads'

Thursday, 04 January 2007

'Chelsea tractors' have been a target of environmental campaigners for some time but now they have lambasted as also being unsafe on UK roads by a new report.

Scientists at the Opus Behavioural Sciences Laboratory in Australia have found that 4x4 vehicle drivers are 55 per cent more likely to drive along with just one hand on the steering wheel compared to other car drivers.

This may be due to 4x4 drivers perceiving their vehicle to be safer because it is further from the ground, according to the study.

Dr Jared Thomas, the lead researcher, said: "Being in larger taller vehicles, SUV drivers believe they are safer and possess a lower level of perceived risk than car drivers."

Drivers of the large 4x4s say they are safer because they have a better view from their higher vantage point.

However, smaller cars reap the monetary rewards because some firms offer discounts on cheap car insurance to drivers with environmentally-friendly hybrid vehicles.

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