As a nation, we pride ourselves on our driving ability, but is that pride misplaced? Survey results suggest that despite our boastful nature, we are actually not that good at measuring distances when driving.
Picture: Philip Capper
The survey was commissioned by Navman — so they’ve got an obvious angle to pitch and are hardly a disinterested party — and suggests that older drivers get more skilled at judging how far away turns and landmarks are, with 73 per cent of drivers aged 65 years and over confident in their ability, while only 40 per cent of those in the 18-24 age bracket had the same confidence. Men are apparently more confident in that ability than women, with a quarter of men surveyed expressing doubts as to their ability, compared to half of the women surveyed.
There is of course a potential gap between confidence and actual ability, and it’s not clear if those surveyed were actually tested on this; a little over-confidence when driving can be far worse than simply using a little caution. Likewise, the release touting the survey results doesn’t supply survey numbers in terms of participants or the way questions were phrased, which is always a bit of an alarm call. Still, it raises some interesting points, especially around age and gender gaps.
What do you reckon? Are older drivers better judges of distance? Is it better to have more or less confidence in your ability to judge long distances when driving?