CAPE TOWN - Earlier in April 2013 we reported on a survey showing South African young drivers to be “too aggressive” and “easily distracted” when compared to their global counterparts.Goodyear’s annual 2013 road safety survey of 6400 drivers under the age of 25 from South Africa and 15 other countries reveals that SA young drivers believe owning a vehicle is a ticket to “true independence”.RIDE TO DE-STRESSInterestingly 61% said their car was a reflection of their personality while 52% used theirs to get away from their nagging folks. Almost half of all newly qualified drivers enjoy cruising for pleasure without any particular destination in mind (46%) while 22% confess to using their car for an adrenalin rush. Youngsters from Russia (73%), Poland (63%), Turkey (63%) and South Africa (61%) cruise the most, according to the survey. Results from the survey:Owning a car is a way of gaining independence – 73% (global: 55%)Does your car reflects your personality? - 61% (global - 36%)Do you use your car to de-stress? - 67% (global: 41%)Do you use your car to escape from your parents? - 52% (global: 30%)Lize Hayward, Goodyear brand communications manager, said: “Young people today have a very particular relationship with their cars and South Africans more than most, as our survey revealed."Men are more likely than women to see their car as a means of independence while German, Swedish and Austrian young drivers are the most pragmatic and see their cars as just a means of transport."STEAMY WINDOWSAs many as 18% of global respondents said they have sex in their car, though South Africans are more conservative - only 14% admitting to doing so. SA drivers are the fourth most likely to kiss while driving (33%, global average 26%).Unsurprisingly, more men (24%) than women (13%) said they’ve had sex in their car and a whopping 43% of Russians and 27% of Spaniards and Czechs claimed to be sexually active in their rides. The Dutch (9%), French (8%) and British (8%) are the least likely to get it on in the back seat. WHEN THINGS GO WRONGThe survey showed that youngsters are, in some ways, slower to gain independence than previous generations and retain a strong attachment to their parents – particularly when it comes to dealing with car trouble. Asked how they would behave if they had a flat tyre, respondents revealed that they were not as independent as they would like to believe. Overall, 44% of drivers polled said they would change a wheel themselves while 23% would call their parents and 12% would call their boyfriend or girlfriend. Russians are the most self-sufficient, with 64% likely to change a wheel on their own, followed by South Africans (55%) and Czechs (54%). Only one-third of young drivers from Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland would do the job alone. 'LACK OF CONFIDENCE'South Africans (90%) were the most comfortable driving on their own after completing their driving training (global: 78%) and they are also the most likely to check tyre pressure regularly for safety (81% vs global average 68%).Parents take note: Only 23% of SA youngsters admitted to being taught how to change a wheel (global: 20%). Hayward said: “With so many young drivers lacking the confidence even to change a wheel, there is certainly a need for more training.” Email us and we’ll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.