In many walks of life it really does pay to be confident. Confidence is generally good, it helps us to succeed in our endeavors, careers, personal life and hobbies. It allows us to take risks which we may not necessarily try; it allows us to lead a life which is full and active.
Unfortunately being over confident behind the wheel of your motor can be a distinctly bad thing. It leads to lots of car accidents and fatalities . . . people who are driving beyond their natural talent and abilities.
Many people will accept that other motorists over estimate their own driving ability yet few people think that they are guilty of it themselves. Studies show that almost 70% of drivers classify their own driving abilities as above average which is actually rather scary.
The majority of over confident drivers are male, younger and urban with more than 72% of this demographic ranking their driving abilities as above average.
Okay, so what’s the problem? Well, unfortunately over confident drivers also agreed on other things. More than 80% of them didn’t agree that exceeding the speed limit increased their chances of being involved in an accident whereas almost 90% of drivers who didn’t class themselves as “above average ability” agreed that speeding increases the risk of accidents.
Here are a few more rather disturbing facts:
• Overconfident drivers are often less likely to feel that they need to wear seatbelts, motorcycle helmets and other safety devices.
• Drivers who are overconfident tend to blame other drivers for their accidents instead of trying to improve their own driving.
• Over confident drivers believe that they have the ability to “handle” speeding and taking greater risks.
• These drivers are also more likely to become impatient with other drivers, the drivers who they feel are of more limited abilities.
• Over confident drivers are also more likely to drive while distracted and therefore miss important messages ahead of them. They may ignore or simply not notice around half of the information available to them, believing that they are strong enough and have the necessary driving skills not to worry about it and the ability to multitask while driving.
It’s a bit of a worry isn’t it? I remember speaking to a fellow parent just after my son had got his first driver’s license. I clearly remember saying that I didn’t feel the need to worry because he’s a very confident driver (he’d actually been driving on private roads and land from being a small boy).
This lady put me firmly in my place . . . “my son was also extremely confident” she told me . . . “”he passed his driver’s test at 9.30 in the morning and by 12 noon had smashed his car to pieces and was lying in a hospital bed – that’s how confident he was””.
Makes you stop and think doesn’t it? Why do so many drivers believe that their ability makes them invincible . . . that they have the necessary skills to handle their vehicles, even when traveling at speeds much greater than the speed limit? It’s also quite interesting to remember that this demographic of “”over confident”” drivers also has to pay the highest insurance premiums . . . there’s bound to be some correlation there don’t you think?
All drivers are welcome at Los Angeles fiat but please remember that even if you believe that you are the best driver in the County, there are lots more like you. Check out the cars at OC Fiat and drive safely.