Drivers Rate Themselves Highly, Others Poorly in Insurance Survey

If American drivers shared a motto, it just might be, “Drive as I say, not as I do.”

That’s according to a new survey from auto insurance company Allstate that found most motorists consider themselves highly skilled behind the wheel, even though they admit to offenses such as speeding and emailing while driving.

Texting while drivingNearly two-thirds of respondents said they were “excellent” or “very good” drivers, according to the phone poll of 1,000 people carried out in July.

That was despite the fact that nine out of 10 motorists said they had exceeded posted speed limits and that 40 percent said they’d gone more than 20 mph over the limit.

Some other admissions that did little to tarnish drivers’ self-images:

–Nearly half said they had driven so tired they were almost falling asleep

–15 percent admitted to driving while intoxicated

–More than one-third had text-messaged or emailed while driving.

–70 percent said they had missed a traffic signal, swerved to avoid an accident or actually caused an accident due to being distracted behind the wheel

–More than half (53 percent) had gotten a speeding ticket or been cited for another moving violation. Of those drivers, 44 percent had received three or more

While most motorists thought highly of their own skills—and were able to overlook behaviors that could qualify them for traffic tickets and high risk auto insurance—they were not as generous to those around them.

Only 29 percent thought their close friends were excellent or very good drivers, and a mere 22 percent bestowed that rating on other people of the same age.

The one thing most respondents seemed to agree on was their low opinion of specific groups of drivers.

More than 80 percent considered teenage motorists “average” or “poor,” while seven in 10 thought senior citizens were lousy drivers.

The survey, carried out for Allstate Insurance by Financial Dynamics, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


About Gregor McGavin
Gregor McGavin is an award-winning journalist who has reported across the country for such publications as The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Press-Enterprise.

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