Young South Africans are aggressive drivers – report

26 March, 2013 | by Benedict Pather

Are you planning on driving in South Africa any time between now and the rest of your life? Then take note this concerns you.

South African youngsters are aggressive behind the wheel and more likely to drive recklessly in comparison to their European counterparts. This is according to the annual Road Safety Survey made public by Goodyear earlier this week. The tyre firm examined the road behaviour of 6400 drivers aged 25 years and younger, conducting its study in fifteen European countries as well as South Africa.

This come as unfavourable news for those who to hit the long road over the next few days as statistics prove our motor vehicle accident rate dramatically increases over the Easter weekend.

Cause for alarm

The study claims that bad judgement on our roads are influenced by social and economic issues such as high crime levels, fear of other drivers and having ones car break down in a dangerous area. It suggests that this in turn causes high levels of anxiety which result in aggression on our roads.

The worrying report showed that 71% of the countries young drivers are afraid of being hijacked compared to 38% globally – 5% claiming to be victims. Because of that, 33% of young South African drivers carried some form of self-defence weapon in their cars.

Further reasons why South African drivers ranked so poorly

The report showed that 83% of young South African drivers admit they’ve jumped an orange robot compared to the global average of 73%. 27% tailed the car ahead and flashed their lights until the other road user made way.

A further 32% deliberately accelerated when another driver tried to overtake in front of them (global 22%); 38% said they’ve intentionally braked when a car in the rear got too close (global 32%) while 48% were adamant that they’d drive zig zag through heavy traffic in an attempt to get to their destination quicker (global 28%), sound familiar?

The study also revealed that 45% of South Africa’s youngsters were more likely to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol at dinner compared to the global average of 20%. Now that’s purely your fault. While the other 74% say they are concerned about drunk drivers on the road versus the global 64%.

Interestingly enough drivers who live on their own are 73% more aggressive than those who live with their parents. Any clue why that may be the case?

Global concern

When looking at other nationalities featured in the study, the Swedes (second safest in the world last year) topped the list of aggressive young drivers. No wonder Volvo introduced that car that does that thing with the brakes.

Furthermore youngsters from Turkey, Spain as well as the emotional Italians were the least likely to display aggressive behaviour.
Globally, men were more vulgar than women and were more keen on engaging in risky behaviour such as overtaking more than one vehicle at a time on a two-lane road – 58% men versus 42% women.

In retaliation it seems – South African drivers were more aggressive than average and were the most likely to make obscene hand gestures such as: rock, scissor, paper. Whether you disagree with the survey or were born before 1988 and are hereby convinced that you’re the best driver in the world, we’ve got news for you – you’re not.

It is perhaps vital to become more courteous behind the wheel and adhere to the road rules. Though we at TopGear have an outspoken love for fast everything we cannot stress more that there’s nothing worse on the road than a bad attitude.


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