Published: 09 Sep 2016

Driving Survey: Bad news for BMW drivers

When was the last time that you had this thought when you were behind the wheel: “Typical (insert car type here) driver!” Most of us have our own pre-conceived ideas about the good and bad drivers on the road, based on what we’ve encountered and what we’ve seen. However, we might want to know what our other fellow motorists think about the motoring arena...

A recent survey showed that we have very definite ideas on the worst cars on the road, the worst types of drivers, the worst traits, and much more. In addition, it pinpointed how drivers perceived their fellow local motorists.

The first discovery is probably not one that will surprise many people; BMW drivers come out of the survey badly. In fact, the German company is by far and away the marque most associated with bad driving, by both men and women, in all regions of the UK. Its fellow contenders for the crown of ‘worst brand driving in the UK’ are Audi, Mercedes and Ford, but BMW – with 21.3% of the votes – wiped the floor with the opposition. Conversely, the safest drivers are those behind the wheels of Kia, Renault and Honda.

Is there any reason why these stereotypes occur? Maybe BMWs are associated with aggression and power, and therefore perceived as more likely to show it. On the other side, Kia cars are smaller city cars, and perhaps less likely to roar past you on the motorway.

Other takeaway findings from the survey included:

  • Nearly 9% of people in Bristol don’t think seat belts should be compulsory. Perhaps that tallies with the fact that almost 58% of drivers claim to have never pulled an illegal manoeuvre on the roads.
  • A quarter of Belfast drivers surveyed have jumped a red light.  
  • In Sheffield, 24.3% of those surveyed have admitted to driving in a bus lane and parking in a disabled space at least once.
  • In the East of England only 1.3% of those surveyed believed that Kia drivers should retake their test; compare that to the belief that nearly half of all BMW drivers are the most reckless and should be made to retest.

What can be done about bad driving? It’s a tough question simply because of the number of factors that influence our choices when sitting behind the wheel; the choice of car, our mood on that day, our overall temperament, and of course the other drivers on the road. There are also other factors in life that may affect us.

For example, according to a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association in America, going without sleep for an extended period can simulate the effects of drink-driving, creating feelings of drowsiness and lethargy that can be deadly. It’s thought as many as 83 million sleep-deprived drivers hit the road daily…

This piece began with a question, and ends with another; how many times have you thought about your driving while sitting at home in the office, perhaps after a near miss earlier that day, and wondered why you drove in the way that you did? In the cold light of day most people know the difference between good and bad driving and will hold their hands up if they’ve made mistakes – it’s just when they’re on the road that poor behaviour can occur.

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