Ah those young motorists – those boy (or girl) racers… they do nothing but cause trouble on the roads.
If that’s your perception, then you may want to re-evaluate as a survey has revealed the pressures that drivers aged 17-25 actually face from OTHER motorists.
According to a report by Co-Op Insurance, 80% of young motorists have experienced another vehicle driving too close to them, 72% have been subject to a driver overtaking them when it wasn’t safe to do so, while 43% have been on the receiving end of rude hand gestures. Other common, negative experiences include 27% being shouted at by another driver and 21% feeling pressured to pull out at a junction when it wasn’t safe.
“After months of learning I was so happy to finally be able to drive by myself,” said James Doyle, one of the young drivers surveyed. “What I wasn’t prepared for was the pressure I would feel from other drivers wanting me to go faster. At times I’ve even had to pull over to regain my confidence. I just wish that other drivers understood how their driving makes me feel.”
These aren’t one-offs, either. Thirty per cent (30%) of those surveyed say they experience these behaviours on a weekly basis, with 24% saying they feel unsafe.
To further exacerbate the issue, over a third of more mature motorists – those aged 26 and above – admitted they are not mindful of others on the road, while 37% have flashed their lights at other motorists in frustration.
“It’s unacceptable that so many young drivers are feeling pressured by others on the roads. Ultimately, every driver should be adhering to speed limits and driving in line with the law, but we know that isn’t always the case,” said Charles Offord, managing director of Co-op Insurance.
“Instead of being role-models, too many older drivers are exacerbating what is already a testing time for new and less-experienced road users.”
The insurer is now hoping to provide a solution to the issue with the launch of T-plate – a concept backed by road safety charity Brake and RED driving school. Similar to an “L” or “P” plate it indicates to other road users that a blackbox is fitted in the car – so the driver will be driving safely, to the speed limit and within line of the law, something that every driver should be doing anyway. When asked, 60% of the insurer’s young drivers said the T-plate would help them feel less pressured.