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"I'm a good driver: you're not!"


Ask British motorists how good their driving is and they're likely to tell you they're either good or very good. Ask them about the standards of the other drivers on the roads and the results are very different.

That's the picture that emerges from the most recent Royal Automobile Club (RAC) Report on Motoring in which a survey shows 78 per cent of motorists rate their own driving highly whilst few think others are very good behind the wheel.

It's also an attitude, one suspects, which might equally well apply among motorists in any of the industrialized countries.

One departure from surveys held in the U.K. a decade or more ago is that men now believe that more equal driving standards exist between the sexes. Women, on the other hand, retain the belief that they make better drivers but have less confidence in men. Only 9 per cent of females believe men are the best drivers while 45 per cent believe that women are.

Although 19 per cent of motorists have been involved in an accident in recent years, nearly all drivers were at pains not to accept the blame. Most drivers (57 per cent) will apportion the blame for accidents to the other party and women, in particular, will not blame themselves.

The survey also identifies very high support for improving the skills of new drivers. Eighty-eight per cent of those surveyed believe that drivers who have just passed their test should take motorway lessons while 69 per cent feel that learners should be required to take a minimum number of lessons with an approved driving instructor.

This is borne out by the vulnerability of young and newly qualified drivers as reflected in accident statistics. Drivers in the 17 to 34 age group are nearly three times more likely to be involved in an accident than motorists over the age of 55.

In general, the survey shows motorists are not as good as they think they are. Road rage, for example, is now a common phenomenon with half of all motorists victim to it in 1999. Knowledge of road signs is also worrying with recognition as low as 17 per cent for certain signs.

Seventeen per cent of motorists have points on their license, one in five motorists has been involved in a recent accident and speeding is commonplace, despite the fact most motorists regard it as a serious crime.

BSM, the driver training specialists of the RAC, believes the government can do more to raise the standards of new motorists.

BSM managing director Paul Atkinson, said: "A new driving test and an improved theory test are long overdue. More emphasis must be placed on reducing new drivers' vulnerability to accidents. Better hazard perception training and a longer test should be introduced, placing more emphasis on real driving situations such as fast moving traffic and overtaking rather than parking."End of Article

Further comments to this article have been disabled.


All Comments (4)

Showing 1 - 4 comments

Christoph,

Human's do not need to be driving cars. When humans are removed from behind the wheel only then will we be much safer. Automakers are working on the systems to make this happen.

Eros,

I`ve passed my test not long ago been driving for the past Month, I can tell there is igonrant driver`s out there, whom they think they are good Drivers which they are not , they should take their test again, i don`t think they will pass their test, DSA Well Done ,I was taught to be defensive whilst driving , and give way , these days Give Way ON THE ROAD
( Non Existence ) , Every One Seems to be in a Hurry, The Other day i was giving way to an bus , There was this Nutter Horning me behind me , i let him past let him go kill him self ... Its an War out their on the roads

Eric,

What the **** are you talking about??? That doesn't even make sense.

wilix,

I think the most drivers due to experience they might cause accidents hence they assume to know each and everything without care for instance driving without driving belt.


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