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Worst drivers think they’re the best drivers, says study

71% of young motorists think they are better-than-average drivers, according to a  British survey. This is despite the fact that young people are far more likely to die on the roads.

The survey, by the online survey company visioncritical.com, on behalf of the British Institute of Advanced Motorists, showed a startling gap between perception and reality.
 
75% of young males surveyed believed they were better-than-average drivers. 68% of young women believed they were better-than-average drivers .
 
These views are in complete conflict with the facts: young drivers make up just 8% of British motorists but nearly a quarter of road deaths.
 
Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website dogandlemon.com, says he’s not surprised by the findings.
 
“Multiple studies have shown that the poorest performers in any field tend to be the ones who most overestimate their own ability.”
 
Matthew-Wilson adds: “The British study also explains why it’s so hard to teach teenagers to drive safely. Even if teenagers take road safety messages onboard, they tend to believe these messages don’t apply to them, because they’re better-than-average drivers.”
 
“It also explains why 30 years of international studies have shown that telling young people to drive safely simply doesn’t work.”
 
Matthew-Wilson says that raising the driving age and restricting how and when young drivers can use their vehicles has been a far more effective strategy for saving lives.

“The older you are when you get behind the wheel, the safer you’re likely to be. Also, the fewer people sharing the car, the safer you’re likely to be," he says.

“From a road safety point of view, the ultimate nightmare is a poorly trained young driver sharing a car with friends late at night. This is a perfect set-up for a multiple fatality.”