SA young drivers 'too aggressive'

2013-03-26 09:01

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.”

Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24

  • David Wood - 2013-03-26 09:42

    What do you expect when all you see advertised is Cage Fighting and Fast Cars on almost every street in SA! You want the youth be be all passive and law abiding when we entertain them with savagery and violence and speed non stop?

      Kevin Seyffert - 2013-03-26 12:40

      Seriously David? You have not raised your children to be intelligent enough to know the difference between fiction and reality? I promise you, it does not take much intelligence and only a little effort on your part.

      David Wood - 2013-03-26 12:53

      Kevin how I raise MY kids is correct but its others I am referring to...but thanks for your tips on how to be a dad...I would have thought my original comment may have given you a clue as to my intelligence and my morals? No? From your comment I would think you would be supporting me perhaps yet you choose to be aggressive...how ironic. An

      Piet Strydom - 2013-03-26 15:23

      @Kevin - the problem is that the human brain has a serious problem distinguishing between what is fiction and reality. That is why all the sex and violence on television and in the movies has such a negative influence on society.

      Piet Strydom - 2013-03-27 15:31

      That is the problem with society nowadays - facts get more downthimbs that bigoted opinions.... As the researchers had predicted, the results showed that when participants answered questions about their friends and family (high personal relevance), stronger activation occurred in the amPFC and PCC regions, as compared with questions about famous people (medium activation) and fictional characters (low activation). As the scientists explained, our conceptual knowledge of real people is more extensive than our knowledge of famous people, and much more extensive than our knowledge of fictional characters. But this finding also raises further questions. “I experience my mother and George Bush as being ‘more real’ than Cinderella, but why do I experience George Bush as being ‘less real’ than my mother?” Abraham said. “After all, both people objectively exist. Is it because I’ve never interacted with him? Is it because I know less about him? Would he have been more relevant for me if he waged war on my home country? These are all open questions that can only be answered when we define what constitutes ‘realness.’ And we have shown in this study that one factor that affects how real I perceive someone to be is modulated by how personally relevant the person is for me.”

      Piet Strydom - 2013-03-27 15:31

      From: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fphys.org%2Fpdf157029052.pdf&ei=mfNSUZajBsTf2QXZoYH4Aw&usg=AFQjCNF6ouYg64B_jG1Uw33tE7ElA5DssQ&sig2=9IYhWtiDzPjHNAvMkAIigA&bvm=bv.44342787,d.b2U

  • Riaan Du Plessis - 2013-03-26 10:01

    Doing a Advanced Driving course is not going to solve the problems we are experiencing. People don`t follow rules. I get pissed off by people on a double road driving 30-40km/h on the right hand lane in a 60km/h zone. Rules of the road states, keep left, pass right! Same with a double road driving at 80km/h in a 120km/h zone. Even people driving 80km/h on single road that is marked 120km/h. This can cause huge accidents as you are driving at 120km/h and by the time you realise the person in front of you is driving 80km/h. Just my 2c

      Dexter Tangocci - 2013-03-26 12:12


      Kevin Seyffert - 2013-03-26 12:47

      Riaan is right. It is about attitude. All the training in the world means nothing if the persons attitude is wrong. He or she will simply throw the training our the window and do as they want as soon as the controls are removed if their attitude is wrong.

      Konstabel Koekemoer - 2013-03-26 15:57

      What really makes me mad is when I'm travelling at the speed limit and overtaking other vehicles and some car is right up my rear. Then when it's clear I move to the left and the fool overtakes at less than 5km/h above my speed and blocking me from overtaking the next slow vehicle in my lane. So these days I'll only move to the left if there is a reasonable gap and if I see that the car behind me will actually really overtake and not drive next to me for ages.

      mike.bundy.73 - 2013-03-26 16:46

      James you are, quite simply, in the wrong. You have no idea what true speed that guy behind you is doing, nor do you know why he is in a hurry. Perhaps he or a loved one has a medical emergency. Whatever . . . it's not your problem and it's not your duty to enforce traffic rules. You are obviously untrained and unqualified to do so. This is definitely provoking road rage and only displays our own arrogance and disregard for the rule of the road.

      Wollie Verstege - 2013-03-26 17:43

      What happened to me was that I was travelling at 100kph in a 100kph zone. When I went over a blind rise, there was some idiot on the other side doing about 60kph. I nearly totalled him and his car (LX570 vs Citi golf), but still there are people that argue that the set speed on a strech of highway is a limit and not a target. Do people not realise that it is this huge difference in speed that can be as deadly as speeding?

      Marina Millicent Poniatowska - 2013-03-26 18:31

      How will an advanced driving course solve people driving slowly in the right hand lane? This is about education, not advanced skills.

      Blackpoison Realm - 2013-03-27 06:31

      @James....You a wanna-be traffic cop? Go for selection if you want to be. All you're doing is pissing off the people you're actually holding back. What's more dangerous, letting him pass or aggravating him and opening a potential confrontation which will put the very people you're trying to protect in more danger? It's the REAL traffic cops problem in dealing with him, not yours.

      Hein Boucher - 2013-03-27 09:43

      @James: If you can honestly state that you stop dead and behind the white line at EVERY stop street, slow down to speed limit at EVERY speed limit sign (even in construction zones) and ALWAYS stick to the speed limit, ALWAYS use indicators (when turning and indicating), use hand signals when your vehicle indicators or not working, etc., than I support your behaviour in a way (if only a small way). And go and read up the K53 again; most people don't know (or fail to remember) that, if a person flashes lights at you in the right hand lane, you are required to move over to the left lane (and stay there, unless you intend overtaking). Jumping back into the right hand lane again for no reason other than to control how fast people are travelling is just arrogant, in my opinion.

  • Kevin Seyffert - 2013-03-26 12:40

    Your bad attitude on the road could get you killed. I don't think so, It will get you killed and good riddance. It's the other poor innocents that you take with you that I feel for.

  • David Wood - 2013-03-26 13:01

    Out of interest I went of an Audi Advanced Driving course and the instructor asked a question "What speed to you travel on the highway to Durban" ... some guy answered 130kph. The 3 instructors all laughed at him and told him he should rather try their high performance course...making the guy feel like a real ass for OBEYING THE LAW. Was disgusting...

      Konstabel Koekemoer - 2013-03-26 16:02

      I also attended an Audi Advanced Drivers course and our driving instructor drove very wreckless on the way to and from the track. He kept no following distance and drove at some insane speeds on public roads. The training on the track was excellent but instructors attituide on the road was really bad.

      Blackpoison Realm - 2013-03-27 06:42

      What the instructors forget is that while giving the training they are in a controlled environment. And the training leaves an aura of "I can handle anything so let's drive more aggressive". Yes, you learn a couple of things but what you will never learn is human behavior. There are at any given time at least four other people around you on the road. That's four minds that can change at any time for any reason. You can't predict what they will do and if you drive too close to either then something bad is going to happen. Even highly trained F1 drivers screw up in close courter situations when they all go for the front spot to get away. No amount of instruction will help with predicting what other drives are thinking.

  • Fahmi Sydow - 2013-03-26 14:16

    just ban all corsas,hondas,bmw and older boere woman in suv's. problem solved.

  • Johanna VanDokkum - 2013-03-26 16:41

    With tens of thousands of accidents involving black drivers of high-speed taxis, you choose to publish a picture of a young white couple to illustrate your article about driver safety. Why?

      Piet Strydom - 2013-03-27 15:35

      You should read more. There has now been vaious studies that show white people in their SUV's drive at least as bad as the taxi's....

      Klipkop de Groote - 2013-03-27 15:56

      Stop seeing colour! people are people. What do you drive? A big SUV? Do you stop dead at stop signs? Do you always use your indicator? I have seen plenty high and mighty white idiots that should not even drive a wheelbarrow.

      Kwashic - 2013-03-28 10:50

      so what? Most Tv adverts are of white people even though most buyer are black. After all it says young people and not Taxi-drivers.

  • Martin Charl - 2013-03-27 09:10

    Yes we have bad drivers,but lets look at one point and just one other country, Brazil for instance, over taking more than one car on a high way, in Brazil on the BR101(there N1) the average care to pass on a bend on a hill is between 5 - 16 car and trucks with another 5 following you doing the same,please check these things when writing a article... I just had Brazilian friends here that said they can not believe how considered our drivers are, yes we have bad drivers,they are every where but they are much worse in other countries,

      Erik Poncho's Van Wyk - 2013-03-27 09:15

      How does overtaking 5 to 16 cars in Brazil make our SA roads any safer.? What a stupid statement!

      Kwashic - 2013-03-28 10:53

      am kinda surprised too by the statistics. In Botswana we have terrible drivers too. I must admit on the highways South African drivers are quite courteous. (at least in the North west). They almost always hazard a thank you if you move left and let them pass. Very rare in Bots. They just zoom past and even demand it sometimes.

  • Hein Boucher - 2013-03-27 09:22

    I don't know whether it is the same in the rest of the country, but in Gauteng, everyone is always in a hurry for no obvious reason. At traffic lights, people can't seem to stand still, always creeping forward over until they are halfway across the intersection; barely stopping at stop streets; overtaking on blind rises; cutting people off, to name but a few. This has nothing to do with crime or stress, but people just thinking that their time is more important than anyone else’s. I've had people screaming past me in an urban area, only to stop behind him at the traffic light. What was the point? People in Gauteng (and most other places in SA) have no regard for each other or the traffic rules. But then again, neither do the law enforcement officers. There is no example being set, and no enforcement. And now people are trying to blame 'other' factors in articles such as this, and blatantly ignoring the fact that people have no regard for each other and that the law is non-existent.

      René Steenkamp - 2013-03-27 15:24

      You are 100% correct. People just don't give a damn anymore about other drivers. Really sad.

      Klipkop de Groote - 2013-03-27 15:28

      Great comment and super true. I experience this daily and daily wonder why people have to speed home to go and watch soapies on TV.

      Kwashic - 2013-03-28 10:58

      even here in Gaborone, Botswana... only in Bulawayo (which was then regarded the best retirement city) did I see very relaxed and easy going drivers. Not Harare...haikona! I think we need driver psychological training. Ever since I put myself on self-training to be patient and to ignore bad driving or to respond courteously, i have less stress and i even seem to get by quicker since I tend to read the traffic better than an enraged angry driver. Its all in the mind. people dont realise you can get there just as quick without wasting fuel with high speed take offs and safer without obscenities at other drivers.

  • Jason - 2013-03-27 20:50

    Braking on purpose when a car behind is too close - 38% (global: 32%)??? I think 100% of drivers should do that - there is nothing more distracting or dangerous than someone driving so close that you can't even see his bonnet.

      Kwashic - 2013-03-28 11:02

      best thing to do is indicate your intention to pull to the left the moment it is safe to do so, then when it is do so gently without drama. Indicating it shows him/her that you not blocking them intentionally, and stops them trying to take you on the left. Do not brake suddenly...thats not evasive action. Its a challenge to the driver... do you really want to be challenging idiots who could be armed?

  • Paulet Nel - 2013-04-02 13:02

    Please take a moment to sign our petition for harsher punishments to those guilty of reckless and drunk driving. Petition link: http://tinyurl.com/stopkillerdrivers

  • Greg Aiyabei - 2013-04-02 16:08

    This is shocking.Young people in SA need to change their attitude coz being aggressive doesn't help at all. www.autobazaar.co.ke www.autotalk.co.ke

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