UK's driving fears uncovered

Thursday 26 July 2007

UK's driving fears uncovered

  • Women drivers twice as scared on the road as men
  • Scots and Northerners are the most fearless drivers
  • Over 50s less worried about having a car accident than the younger generation

It seems that men really do feel invincible in their cars, according to research* released today by Saga Motor Insurance. According to the survey, half of men (50%) are not worried about anything whilst driving, whether that be a potential crash or driving in bad weather, whereas less than a quarter of women (23%) expressed the same confidence.

The UK's main fears whilst driving are being involved in a road rage incident or a car accident, with over a third (38%/37% respectively) of women fearful of these two things and almost a quarter (24%/24%) of men saying the same. Driving on motorways seems to be much more of a worry for women, one in five of whom (20%) said they felt uneasy doing this, but just 3% of men expressed a similar concern, suggesting men are more confident in potentially dangerous situations. Parking also seems to continue to divide the sexes, with parallel parking proving a problem for just under one in six women (16%) in comparison to less than one in ten men (7%).

The top 5 UK driving phobias** are:

1. Road rage (30%)

2. Having a car accident (30%)

3. Driving alongside, immediately in front or behind trucks/lorries (27%)

4. Driving during bad weather (25%)

5. Poor road surface (14%)

The study also showed that today's over 50s feel more confident in a variety of roadside situations than their younger counterparts, perhaps reflecting their considerable experience on the roads. As a group, they are less likely to worry about having an accident, with just over a quarter (28%) saying this worried them compared to almost a third (32%) of those under 50. They also cope much better with winding roads, with only 3% of them sighting these as a problem, in comparison to 6% of the younger generation.

The survey also uncovered some interesting regional variations in attitudes towards driving. People living in North Scotland were highlighted as being the most fearless on the roads with almost three fifths (58%) saying that they were afraid of nothing whilst driving. This was followed by the North East, where just under half of the population responded in the same way (48%). Midlanders are the most road-shy, with over two thirds of this group (69%) saying they had fears whilst driving.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga Group Ltd, said: "The findings from this survey dispel some of the myths that younger drivers are more confident than the older generation and proves how experience often helps in overcoming fears. The survey also highlights the stark difference between men and women when it comes to being confident on the roads, although some would argue that a little more caution might in the end produce a safer driver."


Notes to Editors-

* Research carried out by YouGov, surveying 2610 adults in the UK between 20th – 23rd April 2007.

** Percentages add up to over 100% because respondents could pick more than one fear

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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