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SA young drivers 'too aggressive'

2013-03-26 09:01

HIGH CRIME RATE STRESSES YOUNGSTERS: According to a study, bad road behaviour stems from economic concerns and generally due to a high crime rate in South Africa.

CAPE TOWN - South African accident statistics tend to increase dramatically over the March holiday period. According to statistics, the aggressive habits of young drivers play a big role on the road.

Goodyear’s annual 2013 road safety survey of 6400 drivers under the age of 25 from South Africa and 15 other countries show a high level of anxiety comes across as aggressive behaviour on the road.


Apparently drivers bad behaviour on the road comes from economic concerns and the fear of other drivers. Now who would have thought that?

The tyre company said aggression apparently stems from external factors that are beyond their control. Youngsters worry about drunk drivers on the road, about being hit by another car or are frightened of breaking down.

Beyond this, youngsters are concerned about serious, global issues, like unemployment – and those young people living in countries facing particularly challenging economic circumstances appear to be the most anxious.

Goodyear SA’s Lize Hayward said: “Understanding driver behaviour assists us in the commitment to safety and helping people feel good on the road.”

“The study was specifically designed to explore a wide range of factors from driver training through to general concerns amongst young drivers. The survey revealed that young people’s unease is not just related to outside issues but there is also a significant amount of anxiety surrounding everyday driving. This is frequently expressed as aggression on the road.”

The high crime rate bothers South Africans and they’re most afraid of factors such as breaking down in a bad part of town or being hijacked. Globally this concern reflects in 45% of drivers where in SA, the figure rises to 78%.

Other concerns include:
Being hit by another car - 77% (global: 63%)
Having sudden loss of tyre pressure or puncture - 71% (global: 53%)
Running out of petrol - 57% (global: 41%)
Poor road conditions has caused 67% of drivers to experience car or tyre damage at least once in the in 2011 and 2012
71% are afraid of being hijacked (global: 38%) with 5% being victims
33% of South African drivers under the age of 25 carry a self-defence weapon in their car.


But our locals aren’t the only bad boys and girls. Even the Swedes, ranked as the second safest drivers in Europe in 2012 topped the list for the most aggressive drivers in the world.  Emotional Italians and feisty Spaniards top the list for least likely to display aggressive behaviours.

According to the survey, South Africans are more aggressive than average, most perform dangerous overtaking manoeuvres or drive after a few dinner drinks.

What makes SA drivers to be complete idiots:
Speeding up at an amber traffic light rather than slow down - 83% (global: 73%)
Overtaking more than one car at a time on a dual carriageway - 57%
Accelerating on purpose when another driver tries to overtake - 37% (global: 22%)
Braking on purpose when a car behind is too close - 38% (global: 32%)
Weaving from lane to lane in heavy traffic in order to save time - 48% (global: 28%)
Tailing the car ahead closely and flashing their lights until the other road user made way for them - 27%
Driving after a few dinner drinks - 45% vs global: 20%) while the other 74% say they are concerned about drunk drivers on the road (global: 64%)
Drivers who live on their own are 73% more vulgar than those who live with their parents.


South Africans need to be more courteous on the road and at attitude adjustment is needed amognst young drivers. A senior insurance exec told Wheels24: “All of these point to a blatant and dangerous disregard for road rules. When you speed, get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol and do as you please on the road, you are no better than the driver at the wheel of a vehicle that’s un-roadworthy or has bald tyres.
“Your bad attitude on the road could get you killed.”

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