A MoneySuperMarket survey of 1,000 drivers found that 71% feel that other road users need to improve, yet the majority of motorists (63%) would not take the Pass Plus training, which is designed to make drivers safer on the road.
In fact, the average motorist rates themselves at 8 out of 10 for driving ability, despite more than half the population having been involved in at least one accident.
The survey also discovered that young drivers were deemed the least safe, with 44% thinking they were the most dangerous demographic. However, more than half of 18-24 year olds (52%) have never been in a crash, while 47% passed their tests at the first time. In comparison, just 34% of 25-34 year olds passed with their first try.
Despite this, insurers often classify inexperienced, young drivers as the highest-risk group on the road.
Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said the study revealed the interesting paradoxes in drivers’ minds.
‘A significant majority think other drivers should improve their level of safety behind the wheel, while motorists typically give themselves a confident 8 out of 10 when asked to score the safety of their own driving,’ he said. ‘That means two drivers could be sitting alongside each other at a set of lights, each thinking themselves a paragon of safe driving while strongly suspecting their neighbour to be an accident waiting to happen.’
He also suggested that young drivers turn to technology in a bid to disprove the insurers’ expectation that they are more likely to have an accident.
‘A common perception is that young drivers are inevitably reckless and unsafe, but our research shows that nearly half of 18-24-year-olds passed their driving test on the first try, compared to just a third of 25-34-year-olds. Passing your test doesn’t guarantee safe driving, of course, but the level of competence indicated by these numbers perhaps means young drivers shouldn’t all be written-off as high-risk motorists.
‘Telematics technology, used alongside an increasing number of car insurance policies, gives young drivers an opportunity to demonstrate that they are responsible behind the wheel and deserving of a lower premium than their peers.’