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Young and old drivers mistrust each other

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    The survey found that 52 per cent of drivers aged 50 and over believe younger drivers are in the top two dangerous groups.

There is a growing generation gap on our roads with young and old drivers not trusting each other.

More than 60 per cent of drivers aged 18-24 rate older drivers as the most dangerous group of drivers, according to Newspoll research conducted for GIO Insurance. 

The national survey of 3740 people also found that 52 per cent of drivers aged 50 and over believe younger drivers are in the top two dangerous groups, closely trailing cyclists (57 per cent).

Most drivers rated their own age group as a lesser danger on the road, at 36 per cent of younger drivers and 32 per cent for older drivers. 

Twenty-one-year-old Jemma Ford agrees with the survey, saying older drivers have scared her when she is driving her pink Toyota Yaris on to the freeway. 

"When I get on the freeway they are doing about 70 in 110 zone and its quite dangerous,'' she says. "I understand they are being cautious, but it does cause some problems. "I've seen drivers around me get frustrated and do silly overtaking, causing more danger.'' 

Former public servant Bill King, 74, agrees that older drivers who have lost their confidence shouldn't be on highways. 

"I don't consider myself an older driver, but when they get to 80 and above they become fragile and are over cautious on the road and might be doing 10-15 kays under the speed limit annoying the hell out of people who want them to go quicker,'' he said. 

"If they are blocking the right hand lane then they are losing their confidence and shoudn't be driving on the highways and freeways.'' But he says younger drivers are his biggest worry with their "risk-taking behaviour''.

"My principal concerns are P-platers speeding past you like the police are chasing them.'' He is also concerned about tailgating truck drivers and he's not alone. 

The survey found cyclists were rated as the most dangerous type of road user by 54 per cent of all drivers, followed by taxi drivers (45 per cent), motorcyclists (44 per cent) and truck drivers (37 per cent). 

GIO spokesperson Duncan Bone said safety on the road meant drivers had to place trust in other road users. "Ultimately the only actions we can control are our own,'' he said. "People need to concentrate more on their own driving, rather than other road users.''


Cyclists: 54%
P Platers: 49%
Young drivers: 47%
Older drivers: 45%
Taxi drivers: 45%
Bikers: 44%
Truck drivers: 37%
4WDs: 33%
Learners: 30%
Pedestrians: 25%

* Source: Newspoll

Comments on this story

Displaying 2 of 2 comments

  • not a surprize

    Dudley Posted on 10 August 2012 4:07am
  • Never really thought about it but I agree with the findings - cyclists are the most dangerous. I find I have to take evasive action more often due to cyclists than any other road user. Next would be the elderly then very close in 3rd are young drivers - learners I can understand. And yes, I see younger people more often doing stupid things on the road but from memory I never have to adjust my driving to cater for their stupidity - elderly people I do. And maybe Jemma the reason drivers and doing silly overtaking manoeuvres is because you aren't doing anything about the car directly in front of you whom is travelling well below the speed limit - like beeping the horn. I find it just as frustrating as the slow traveller themselves because you end up with a line of cars all being held up because the car behind the slow-go'er won't do anything thing. And there's no point someone several cars back beeping because the slow driver won't realise it's for them.

    alex Posted on 03 April 2012 5:49pm

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