Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart January 31, 2010 at 9:21 am


“Most motorists fancy themselves as better drivers than others on the road, Canadian psychologists have found. When Ottawa University researchers polled nearly 400 drivers ranging from the youngest to the very old, virtually all rated themselves favourably. This was especially true when older drivers were used for comparison, even if the person questioned fell into that category themselves.

This bravado could lead to more accidents, the scientists warned. Clearly, it is impossible that all drivers are better, the psychologists told the Accident Analysis and Prevention journal. Since drivers underestimate their own risk and overestimate their ability, this may make them less cautious on the roads, they say.

All drivers, men and women, young and old, rated themselves over the “average motorist”, especially when this average motorist fell into the over 65 age category. Young men felt the most superior. Middle-aged men rated themselves as better than similarly aged drivers, and far superior to younger and older motorists. Older drivers – aged 65 plus – felt most superior when they compared themselves with motorists of the same age.”

Read more at the BBC

January 31, 2010 at 10:23 am
Nopke says:

Superior behind the wheel. Don’t we all feel at times like that, but not always for the same reason and def. not always regarding driving. Getting away from a lot of things behind the wheel. Some will need to speed up to get rid of stuff inside, others dont. Both type of drivers can lack overview/insight in traffic at times. Awareness of your own not to aware self, not all without importance. It does not seem a pleasant way to go: getting involved in a serious accident.
Traffic is like socializing and therefor you will see the same systems there as off the road. Nothing new.
Lots of psychologists on the road as well as off road. But not all are.

January 31, 2010 at 10:24 am
Bruce says:

I AM a better driver!

January 31, 2010 at 10:29 am
Ms G says:

Type of car matters too when it comes to feeling superior. Large high car (jeep types) or trucks give you quite fast a feeling of ..”who cares .. hahahaha” . That is, after you feel like being on top of that car ofcourse .. it can be kinda overwhelming at first. The tendency to getting sloppy is there for a lot I think, but the awareness of that too I guess for most who were not just used to driving in such large cars/trucks .. so they will have to adapt again to another drive styles. So that’s more about changing type of car, or should I say size of car. You can’t get around the fact that the driver of such a large car/truck knows that it feels more safe on the road (but it isn’t more safe). The cookie yar type of cars (like my suzuki alto) .. well, you know that you have to hit something on high speed to damage it quite properly.

January 31, 2010 at 10:32 am
Greetje says:

So, should cars match a person’s personality in such a way that it improves safe driving of the driver? Hm .. people would not always end up in cars they had wished for then I guess …..

January 31, 2010 at 10:37 am

How frustrating! For me it’s the opposite happening.

January 31, 2010 at 11:52 am
Ellie says:

Lol, someone should tell my other half this. To be honest, he’s not a bad driver, he doesn’t speed or show off, he’s just an a***hole. for example, some pedestrians were struggling to cross the road the other day, ok, they hadn’t walked to the crossing just down the road, but we all do that too, and when they crossed to the middle of the road and were trying to cross our side my other half drove as close to them as he could to scare them, and when I pointed out the fact that he was endangering them he said, “well they should have used the crossing”.
He’s not done it since then cause I went mental at him for his lack of responsibility.

The point to this story is that, when not in a car, my other half is the most responsible, safety aware, thoughtful bloke I know, It’s like the car has a mind of it’s own!

January 31, 2010 at 12:09 pm
ricoculous says:

It’s a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect:

January 31, 2010 at 12:21 pm
Mark says:

So true but were all those comma’s necessary? Who wants to gang up against the comma queen/king and tell them they need to stop or we’ll not be able to cope the next time one of their stories (the BBC) makes its way over here. Anyone?

Oh and the captcha on here, get Recaptcha it helps support the campaign for the digitisation of books.


January 31, 2010 at 1:35 pm
roz says:

rofl! nice picture of the stig! wonder if that’s the original stig or the “new” stig?

this phenom has been known fer many years, yet it never seems to go away. i’m a good driver; but i know that because i’ve had it confirmed by outside opinion. unlike with sex, there are empirical ways to do this. one of em was my avoidance of a head-on collision at highway speed with a driver who was in the wrong lane. she prolly thought she was good too. 😀

January 31, 2010 at 2:19 pm
Eugene says:

It could be the case that most drivers are in fact better than average.

January 31, 2010 at 2:20 pm
Kelly says:

haha roz…been there! but add in about 4ft of snow and a blizzard…if you can make it out alive driving through winter in canada you’d feel pretty damn superior too! ….oh i miss my car

January 31, 2010 at 3:28 pm
roz says:

true, kelly! and maine is close enuf to canadian drivers fer me! :)

January 31, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I’m not sure whether drivers are better or worse than average, but I find a lot of them are downright rude round here…..

LC x

January 31, 2010 at 9:12 pm
Alan C says:

I drive a truck for a living, but I wouldn’t say I was superior to a lot of people I know who drive. Yes I would class myself as a good driver, am considerate of other road users/pedestrains. Always willing to let cars through or out at junctions, but must admit some days I am an asshole behind the wheel and sometimes let my concentration wander until I scare the crap out of myself.
I find a lot also depends on if the driver is familiar with where they are driving. When I know the roads I am driving on then it winds me up when people don’t get in the right lanes etc, but must admit I have done it plenty of times when I don’t know where I am and get in the wrong lanes.

I think the biggest problem on the roads today are people driving cars that they can’t handle and lack of respect for other road users.

June 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm
Joe says:

Drivers like to criticise others for their mistakes instead of just reacting to them sensibly. This gives a sense of superiority. I find drivers think they are better people than non-drivers. Being a non-driver I don’t care what they think though. Having done a short survey of my own over the last six months, young to middle-aged women drive more dangerously than anyone else on the road. Do they feel superior? Probably. Fact is they aren’t. The sooner insurance companies realise this fact the better. I might buy a car then, and feel superior!


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