Survey suggests motorists would be more considerate
A survey conducted by breakdown company the ‘AA’ found that almost half the drivers who took part would leave more space in front and avoid tailgating if they were aware they were following a car driven by somebody elderly. The figure actually suggest that signs drawing attention to the driver could have similar effects to the ‘baby on board’ and ‘new driver’ stickers displayed.
Paul Green, of Saga insurance, said “anything that tries to encourage politeness on British roads should be welcomed. Driving bumper to bumper is a completely anti-social activity whether driving at 80 or 18. It is great that drivers want to show older people more courtesy on the roads, but it is quite alarming to think that people think it is perfectly OK to harass younger drivers.”
The number of older people with driving licences has exceeded the four million mark. While not all of these licence holders will be active drivers the statistics illustrate the growing number of older people who still use a car and the total is set to increase dramatically.’ The Government has predicted that of the UK citizens alive today, around ten million will reach their 100th birthday. So there is clearly a lot of elderly drivers on the road.
The Populus survey of 17,629 AA members found that 47 per cent said they tried to give older drivers a wider berth. Researchers found that the results differed little between age groups, suggesting that younger respondents were as considerate of another driver’s age as older ones. The survey also found that 22 per cent of drivers would be more likely to give way to a classic car, but one in five said they would be less likely to yield to a 4x4 or a luxury car, with those in London having the least patience. One in five also admitted to losing their cool while behind learner drivers. Motorists aged 18 to 24 were least tolerant of learners, with 31 per cent admitting to losing their patience, compared with 15 per cent of over-65s. Edmund King, the president of the AA, said “we’ve got a careless driving fixed penalty offence now, that was introduced last year, and technically you should be able to get a fine and penalty points for tailgating. Tailgating is one of the biggest dangers on the motorway in many ways more dangerous than speeding. In all our surveys, along with the middle-lane-hog the tailgater comes out as one of the top pet hates.”