Britain's Worst Drivers Exposed

Research by AA Tyres, reveals that Generation Y — those aged 25-34 — are the biggest offenders when it comes to the nation's worst driving habits, such as tailgating, driving while tired and fiddling with tech in the car.

The research also shows that Londoners are the UK's No.1 middle lane hoggers and worst for overtaking on the left.

  • Drivers aged 25-34 are the worst offenders for 11 out of 12 bad habits, including tailgating, driving while tired and fiddling with tech devices in the car
  • 26% of UK drivers admit to breaking the speed limit every week
  • Londoners are the UK’s No.1 middle-lane hoggers (64%) and worst for overtaking on the left (61%)

Teenagers are often perceived as being the most irresponsible and riskiest drivers on UK roads, but according to a new poll by AA Tyres, it’s Generation Y drivers who have the worst driving habits.

The poll canvassed 21,741 AA members on bad driving habits, and younger drivers, aged 25-34, came out as the biggest offenders in 11 out of 12 bad driving habits. Almost nine out of ten (87%) drivers in this age group admitted to frequently braking hard or too late, while 71% said they tailgate, driving too close to the driver in front, and 87% said they have driven while tired.

And, 87% of those Generation Y drivers polled, who are considered more tech savvy than most, having grown up in a world surrounded by technology, said they frequently fiddled with in-car technology, such as radios, bluetooth phones and sat navs, while at the wheel.

Across all age groups, breaking the speed limit was, not surprisingly, the most common problem, with 89% of drivers polled confessing to breaking the speed limit during the past 12 months. More than a quarter (26%) of respondents said they break the speed limit every week.

The following table shows the most common bad driving habits, and the top offending age group for each:

Bad driving habit % polled who admitted to this bad habit in past 12 months Top offending age group
Going over the speed limit 89% 45-54 and 55-64 (90%)
Braking hard or late 79% 25-34 (87%)
Driving while tired 72% 25-34 (87%)
Adjusting technology (e.g. sat nav, radio, Bluetooth phone, on-board computer) 72% 25-34 (88%)
Not indicating at the correct time (e.g. changing lane, roundabouts) 58% 18-24 and 25-34 (66%)
Driving too close to the vehicle in front 57% 18-24 and 25-34 (71%)
Eating or drinking 49% 25-34 (81%)
Sitting in the middle lane when the inside lane is clear 48% 25-34 (53%)
Overtaking on the left 48% 25-34 (57%)
Rubbernecking (e.g. slowing down to look at an accident) 47% 18-24 and 25-34 (57%)
Wearing unsuitable shoes (e.g. flip-flops, high-heels, heavy boots) 26% 25-34 (48%)
Throwing rubbish out of the window 4% 18-24 (10%)

Source: AA Populus online poll

Almost half of all motorists said they eat or drink at the wheel, and this figure rises to 81% for 25 to 34-year-olds. Younger drivers are also the worst litter-bugs with one in ten of 18 to 24-year-olds admitting they have thrown rubbish out of the window – more than double the national rate of 4%.

REGIONAL ROAD HABITS

Londoners are the UK’s number one middle-lane hoggers (64%) compared to just over four out of ten drivers across the rest of the UK. Similarly, the capital’s residents are revealed to be the worst culprits when it comes to overtaking on the left, with 61% confessing they have carried out this manoeuvre in the past year. By contrast, only 37% of Scottish motorists have ‘undertaken’ another motorist in the past 12 months.

MALE VERSUS FEMALE DRIVERS

Male drivers appear to be the most impatient, far more prone to exhibit the annoying habit of undertaking (51%) compared to only 37% of women. While, 29% of male drivers admit to speeding every week compared to less than a fifth (19%) of female drivers, and more than twice as many men (9%) confess they speed every time they drive, compared to women (4%). Meanwhile, female motorists (41%) are more than twice as likely to drive in unsuitable shoes than male motorists (19%).

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