Irish drivers hold themselves in high regard
Some Irish motorists have their rose tinted glasses firmly on when it comes to how they perceive their own driving skills, according to figures recently issued by the AA.
Almost seven out of ten of the 15,000 motorists surveyed during the latest AA Motor Insurance said they would rate their own driving as above average. Less than one per cent described their driving as below par.
“While there are many excellent drivers out there, the findings of our survey do suggest that most of us are more than a little biased when it comes to our own driving,” said Conor Faughnan, director of policy with the AA.
“None of us are perfect and most of us have unwittingly picked up bad and sometimes even dangerous habits that we are not aware of.”
The AA poll also reveals that young males drivers, aged between 17 and 24 years, are most confident in their driving abilities, despite being some of the least experienced drivers on our roads.
Nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed within this age group described themselves as above average drivers. And of these, 45 per cent rated themselves as well above average. This is compared to less than 20 per cent of females of the same age.
“It is an old cliché that there are two things that no male will admit that he is bad at. Driving is one of them,” said Mr Faughnan.
“There is a serious message in this. If we tend to over-estimate our own driving abilities then that can lead to excessive risk taking. It is this cavalier attitude to risk that is at the core of Ireland’s road safety problem.”
In stark contrast to the overall results of this latest poll, an earlier survey carried out last November found that just 20 per cent of motorists believed the standard of driving on Irish roads by private road users to be high.
The AA also points out that despite how drivers perceive themselves, the most important statistic of all – the number of road fatalities – is falling in Ireland. The RSA and the Garda issued data last Friday that shows road deaths were down by nine per cent so far this year.
While this is encouraging, the same data also shows that we still have a problem with road deaths among 16 to 24 year olds, precisely the age group most likely to over-estimate their driving ability.