Over one-fifth (22%) of young drivers think that they can drink as much alcohol as they want while in a driverless car. According to a study by Co-op
Insurance, several major misconceptions among young drivers may have potentially serious consequences.
Meanwhile, almost a quarter (24%) of young people think that they can take a nap while being driven around by an autonomous vehicle.
In reality, a conscious and sober person must be seated in the traditional drivers’ seat at all times, following traffic rules, and must always ready to take manual control in case of equipment failure or other emergency.
Steve Kerrigan, head of telematics at Co-op
Insurance, said: “This research has shown that young drivers are unprepared and uninformed about self-driving cars. Many even mistakenly believe that you will be able to drink alcohol and sleep it off whilst you are driven home.
“Driverless cars are no longer the stuff of science fiction and are set to be on the roads in the next few years. It’s important that drivers are educated about what they can and can’t do in driverless cars, in addition to how the technology works, before they can get behind the wheel."
Close to three in ten (29%) of young drivers are attracted to self-driving technology because they believe that it takes out the factor of human error, while 24% like the idea because there is no actual driving involved. Only 4% have expressed excitement about the technology, while another 4% don’t trust themselves to drive due to bad experiences such as crashes.
With regards to road safety, 43% of respondents believe that the roads will be safer with driverless technology, with women (54%) believing this more so than men (32%).
The study was conducted in cooperation with ICM Unlimited with 1,000 drivers aged 17-25. Data from over 60,000 Co-op
Young Driver Insurance customers from March 2011 to February 2016 was also used.