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Tonight: How bad is your driving?

Surrey Police out on patrol Photo: ITV / Tonight

Tailgating, lane switching, middle lane hogging - the list goes on.

Ask any British motorist and they’ll have a tale to tell about the driving behaviour that frustrates them most.

But just how careless are we ourselves behind the wheel? With more than 700,000 people thought to be injured or killed on our roads each year, Aasmah Mir takes a look at Britain’s bad driving habits: How Bad Is Your Driving is on ITV at 7.30PM.

In a specially commissioned Tonight survey of 2000 motorists, 90% said that they consider themselves to be good drivers, yet 73% admitted that they were careless behind the wheel.

And whilst we hear a lot about the dangers of drink driving or speeding, careless driving contributes to more deaths on our roads - hundreds each year.

Last summer police were given new powers to issue on the spot penalties to motorists who are seen driving carelessly. Already thousands of drivers have been caught.

To find out more, Tonight accompanies Surrey Police on highway patrol. As part of a new pilot scheme they’ve been using undercover vehicles including a truck driven by police officers for tip offs – the higher cab making it easier to spot rule breakers.

To learn how our driving has changed over the years, Aasmah takes to the Welsh roads with Laura Thomas.

At 94 years old Laura is Britain’s oldest driving instructor, having helped more than a thousand learners pass their tests.

With 75 years of teaching behind her, she believes that many of today’s motorists have become too impatient and that good practices can get forgotten after drivers pass their tests.

If they don’t forget they ignore it… ‘I shouldn’t be doing this but I’m doing it anyway!’ ”

– Laura Thomas
Aasmah takes a lesson from Britain's oldest driving instructor Credit: ITV / Tonight

So have we become too complacent when it comes to judging our own driving skills? To find out Tonight recruits 3 confident motorists and puts them through a series of challenges.

They take a ride in the Transport Research Laboratory’s DigiCar – a scientific simulation of road conditions – to assess the effects of multi-tasking at the wheel.

The DigiCar simulates road conditions Credit: ITV / Tonight

And their judgment of speed and stopping distances is put to the test as they take to the track in their own cars.

How did Tonight's motorists fare in their challenges? Credit: ITV / Tonight

Back on the real roads our drivers are sent out on a regular commute, with sensors to monitor their stress levels.

Stress takes it’s toll on our emotions and can affect our behaviour when driving. Some 61% of motorists that we surveyed said that they get angry behind the wheel and more than half said that they experience road rage.

We are a culture of imploders, we tend to suck our anger in… What we tend to do is carry resentment, carry grudges, carry anger and then eventually unleash it in our motor vehicles.”

– Mike Fisher, British Association of Anger Management

So with the combination of our busy lifestyles and increasing vehicle numbers on our roads, we ask – isn’t it time to pay more attention to our own driving habits? With a bit more care and consideration when behind the wheel, we can together make Britain’s roads safer.