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How young & old drivers view each other

Young drivers are fast and dangerous; older drivers are slow and cautious. Stereotypical maybe, but that's how drivers in other age groups view each other, it seems.

Young, middle-aged and older drivers

It seems the older we get, the worse our opinion of younger drivers becomes.

Admiral Insurance asked 2,000 motorists of different age groups – young drivers aged 17-25, middle-aged drivers between 40 and 55, and older drivers aged over 65 – their views on each other's driving.

Some 83% of older motorists think those under the age of 25 are the worst drivers, and 62% of middle-aged drivers agree.

But it seems the feeling is mutual as nearly half - 48% - of young drivers say they think the over-65s are the worst motorists on the road.

How different generations describe each other's driving

Admiral asked motorists to select three words from a list to describe the style of driving for each generation.

Both the middle-aged and older drivers chose fast, impatient and dangerous to describe young people's driving.

Middle-aged drivers were described as steady, confident, safe and law-abiding by the other generations.

And older drivers were described as slow and nervous, as well as dangerous and cautious by both the young and the middle aged drivers.

Motorists say driving skills improve with age

The survey found we tend to think our driving improves the older we get.

Two thirds of middle-aged motorists say their driving has improved since they were under 25, while only 5% think it has got worse.

Meanwhile, one in five of motorists aged over 65 think their driving has improved since they were middle aged, while only 6% think it has got worse.

Sue Longthorn of Admiral Insurance says: "Contrary to the view by some people that older drivers are nervous it appears the older we get the more confident we are in our driving skills.

"We also become more critical of younger drivers."

Is criticism of younger drivers justified?

So do statistics back up the view that younger drivers aren't as good on the road as older motorists?

Well, Admiral says its own data shows the average cost of a young driver car insurance claim - those involving someone under the age of 25 - is higher than any other age group.

Drivers under the age of 25 are also the most likely to have large, high-impact accidents such as head-on collisions or hitting a crash barrier.

A higher percentage of young drivers polled also admitted they have jumped a red light, used a mobile phone while driving and not used their indicators than the older generations.

This increased risk of accidents – and in turn the increased risk of claiming on their car insurance policy – is why young drivers typically pay more for cover than their older counterparts.

'Good & bad drivers of all generations'

Longthorn says: "Our research shows just how critical each generation is of others.

"The reality is that there are good and bad drivers of every generation.

"It's interesting that while the people we surveyed frequently chose negative words to describe the driving of others, they were more complimentary about their own driving.

"When we asked them to choose words to describe their own driving, the most common ones were safe, steady, courteous and cautious."

What do you think?

What your view on drivers of different generations?

We want to hear from you! You can share your views on the message board below.

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Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick covers all things consumer for She started out on a weekly newspaper, via a national news agency and a stint in the fun but ‘not as glamorous as it appears on screen’ world of TV at the BBC researching consumer films for The One Show.

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