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Survey: Older drivers trump youngsters

2014-02-12 11:17

REBELS WITHOUT A CAUSE: Only 60% of UK drivers pay full attention to the road while driving, according to a UK survey, and it's the over-65's who... do the best at 73%. Image: GOODYEAR

Let's hear it for the oldies! When it comes to driving attention deficit disorder (not looking where you're going) the over-65's clean up on the wheeled whippersnappers.

A UK survey by 1500 drivers by the Institute of Advanced Motorists has shown only 60% of them concentrate when behind the wheel - which brings good AND bad news. That said, the survey doesn't mention cellphones: with South Africa’s drivers hugely guilty of on-the-move onlining the figures would be significantly higher locally.


In 2013, Wheels24 reported that Goodyear’s annual road safety survey revealed youth in South Africa were among the world's most aggressive drivers. They were also far more likely to be distracted by phone calls and internet use while driving than their counterparts in Europe. Other factors contributing to distraction included drinking/eating at the wheel, applying make-up - and even kissing.


The IAM says the good news is that older UK drivers are much less likely to lose concentration: 73% of over-65's claimed that driving took all their attention, 26% said they concentrated “most of the time”.

The bad news, says the IAM, is that 50% of younger drivers aged 18-24 admit to not focusing on driving 100% of the time. Not far behind, 47% of 24 to 34-year-olds who admit to not concentrating.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Signs of not concentrating, such as missed turnings or uncancelled indicator lights, are common. Simply not concentrating is a key cause of crashes yet it is not borne out in statistics because drivers rarely admit to it in police reports or on insurance forms.

“These results reconfirm stereotypes surrounding younger drivers and the ease with which they can be distracted from staying safe. The key is to build up as wide a range of experience as possible as you learn and to look upon your driving as a skill that needs continuous improvement.”


Nearly 24% of those surveyed said simple daydreaming was the most common reason. Others included stress (22%), thinking about what might happen at the destination (21%) and thinking about family, friends and personal relationships (21%).

Londoners, the UK survey showed, were most likely to be distracted: 47% admitting to not concentrating 100% on the road.
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