Most motorists are “amber gamblers” when dealing with traffic lights, according to a survey.
As many as 85% of drivers admitting to trying to race through lights when they are on amber about to turn red, the poll by the Thrifty Car & Van Rental company found.
Nearly 40% of drivers said they rarely stopped if the lights were on amber and 16% regarded amber as a green light.
The poll of 3,000 motorists also showed that 13% had had an accident or a near miss after going through an amber signal, while 50% have been shouted at by their passenger and 26% have been sworn at or hooted by other drivers.
Among 17-year-olds, 88% had driven through an amber signal as it was about to turn red, with 35% of all drivers not realising that such an action was an offence.
Among the amber gamblers, 33% said they did not have time to stop while 27% said they were in a rush to get to work. A total of 7% reckoned they were being considerate to other drivers by speeding through the lights.
The worst place for amber gamblers was Chelmsford in Essex, followed by Leeds, Coventry, Liverpool and Brighton.
Thrifty Car & Van Rental central services director Linda Paul said: “Our survey clearly demonstrates that British motorists have a penchant for gambling amber lights, even though it’s extremely dangerous and is breaking the law.
“The traffic light sequence is in place for a reason, and is designed to keep the roads and the motorists who drive them, as safe as possible.