Young male drivers see over-confidence as the biggest danger facing them on the roads today, whereas females are more concerned about a lack of confidence. That’s according to new research conducted by Marmalade, the leading provider of cars and insurance for young drivers.
The survey questioned driving instructors, young drivers and their parents into the biggest issues for young drivers today. The majority of respondents across all three groups cite a lack of experience as the biggest danger facing young people today: 86% driving instructors, 73% of parents and 63% of young drivers. However, other responses reveal stark differences in opinion, particularly when broken down by gender.
Almost two thirds (64%) of young female drivers feel that a lack of confidence is the biggest threat to their safety, whereas the big danger area as perceived by young males is over confidence (at 44%, second only to lack of experience). This gender difference is echoed by parents’ responses; 37% of boys’ parents are most concerned about over confidence whereas 25% of girls’ parents feel this poses the biggest threat. Over-confidence is seen a bigger danger than lack of confidence by driving instructors, at 65% and 40% respectively.
More than half of parents (59%) and young female drivers (52%) are worried about other drivers, while young males are significantly less so at 35%. Driving instructors feel that mobile phones are more of a threat (73%) than young drivers (41%) and parents (37%), although phones are ranked in the top five key concerns.
Peer pressure is also high on the list, cited as a danger by 40% of young drivers and 36% of parents (44% of those with boys and 29% of those with girls) but by a much larger percentage of driving instructors (82%).
Marmalade’s survey also revealed that young drivers are more concerned about driving under the influence of drink or drugs than their parents: 26% of girls and 31% of boys listed this as a danger compared only 12% of parents surveyed.
Chris Porter, driving instructor, says: “Learning to drive is a great leveller and in my experience I find that most of my new students are a little apprehensive when they first get behind the wheel. I do find that my female students are perhaps a little more diligent when it comes to learning the theory and do not assume, like some male pupils, that they already know all the rules of the road!”
Crispin Moger, CEO at Marmalade, said: “We know that inexperience is the biggest danger facing young drivers on our roads and it’s good that this is recognised across all the audiences that we’ve surveyed. It’s easy for young drivers to focus on behaviour when a driving instructor is sitting next to the young driver but the real issue comes once that person has passed their test. Telematics is one way of spotting dangerous driving caused by over or lack of confidence, monitoring driving behaviour based on accelerating, braking, cornering and speeding (ABCS). Using advanced technology and providing one-to-one support where required, telematics provides that extra guidance until young drivers have gained that all-important experience behind the wheel.”
Kirsten Acton, a Marmalade customer and 18 year-old learner driver, says: “My confidence is improving but I have felt anxious some of the time. It’s much better now that I am learning in a similar car to mine so that I can practice in between lessons.
“I don’t think girls are more anxious than boys, I think everyone is probably a little apprehensive at the start.”
For more information, please see the full results at www.wearemarmalade/.co.uk