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Most other road users are a threat: Survey

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Media Release

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Most Australian drivers believe they are safe and self-assured behind the wheel, but say the majority of other road users could be risky and dangerous, according to recent research conducted by Slater and Gordon.

Motor vehicle accident lawyer, Craig Lynch said three-quarters of Australians believed they drive confidently and safely, but just over one-third said other drivers were the same.

“We surveyed nearly 2,000 Australian drivers and asked them to describe their own driving performance and the general standard of other drivers on the road,” Mr Lynch said.

“The results showed 76 per cent of drivers say they are confident and safe, but the tables were turned when just 36 per cent said that other drivers were careful and courteous.

“The remaining respondents (64 per cent) said other drivers were risky and dangerous either all of the time, or at least some of the time while driving.”

Mr Lynch said this showed a significant difference between the way Australian drivers viewed their own driving style and the way they viewed the driving of others.

“There is a tendency to only credit negative actions to other drivers on the road, but the figures show that this is unlikely to be the reality,” he said.

“We can’t possibly be perfect drivers all the time, and it would be very concerning if we didn’t know our own potential threats and instead just focused on the actions of others.

“We have to remember that we can’t control how other drivers behave, we can only control our own decisions, attitudes and reactions on the road.

“That’s why it is so important for drivers to concentrate on doing the best possible job while behind the wheel, and if they do that more often, then it is likely to result in a reduction in the number of crashes.

“A little bit of patience and tolerance goes a long way, especially to avoid road rage or traffic accidents.”

Breakdown of respondents who say they are a safe and confident driver:

  • New South Wales residents – 79 per cent
  • West Australian residents – 77 per cent
  • Victorian residents – 76 per cent
  • Queensland residents – 76 per cent
  • South Australian residents – 67 per cent
  • Men – 80 per cent
  • Women – 71 per cent
  • Country residents – 77 per cent
  • Metropolitan residents – 75 per cent
  • 45-54 year olds – 83 per cent
  • 16-24 year olds – 54 per cent