U.S. Drivers Think Highly of Their Skills, the Rest of the World, Not so Much

Being asked whether you think you're a good driver is always a tricky question. We would all like to think we're aces behind the wheel, and some of us aren't lucid enough to separate wishful thinking from the truth.
U.S. Highway 26 1 photo
Photo: Doug Kerr on Flickr
To be fair, the question is a bit too vague. More appropriate versions would be "are you a safe driver?" or "do you think you're a better driver than the average?" The latter, however, can be a bit deceiving. We come across tens of thousands of drivers daily, and yet we only seem to notice the bad ones. That can give us a skewed perception of what the average might be, thus influencing our answer as well.

Driving-tests published a survey on drivers all over the world asking them a few questions about themselves, the drivers in their country and those in other countries as well. The results show U.S. drivers are pretty cocky about themselves, but don't have such a good opinion about those they share the roads with each day.

Almost 61 of the American drivers taking part in the study (60.8, to be exact) said they think of themselves to be better drivers than the average. Aside from the fact that is mathematically impossible, it's also far from the sensation you get while roaming the country's roads.

However, the study did show that U.S. license holders were more likely to perform safe-driving tasks than international drivers. For instance, signaling when changing lanes or turning is a much more common occurrence in the U.S., as is wearing the seatbelt and coming to a full stop when needed.

The drivers from the rest of the world have a more modest opinion of themselves: only 50.6 percent believe they are above-average drivers. However, 59.3 percent think they are better than American drivers, with only 2.3% thinking the U.S. is where you'll find the best drivers in the world.

But where does this elusive species reside? Apparently, in Germany. Just over 19 percent of international respondents indicated the European country as the place with the best drivers, with 8.7 percent of the Americans thinking the same.

The quality of a country's drivers is not something you can easily quantify, but the traffic accidents per capita could be a good indicator. It turns out the people's perception was spot on as Germany is one of the leaders in this area, together with the Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, and Iceland. How do they do it? For one thing, better education and more stringent license test procedure. But at the end of the day, it's really something we can all work on.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories