is more that the mechanical performance of
13th June 2006.
At a time when everything is expected
to be perfect, from others of course, we tend to forget
the inherent imperfection of makind.
Yes, we expect from our car to be
faultless, from our insurer to approve us quickly... the
list can go on and on even to complain about weather as if
rain has become a "bad service" from heaven, or
an abnormal, "out-of-order" situation.
And of course, we expect from other
drivers to be "error-free" and to understand
traffic rules as good as we do. Or is it, as good as we
think we do?
|Age of Motorist
|Gender of Motorist
Car Net. Sample of over 1,100
Since we often forget that we're no
more that the "others" of those others, what if
we let figures tell us how fit to drive can some of us be?
According to a recent poll conducted by
motoring website, New
Car Net*, one in three motorists fail to recognise
even the most basic road sign.
Overall, male drivers fared marginally
better than their female counterparts, with a 68.1 percent
success rate compared to 62.4 percent.
The biggest disparity in the battle of
the sexes related to the ‘uneven road’ warning sign,
illustrated by two humps inside a red triangle (bottom
right in the photo... but we all know it of course). Just
53.7 percent of women correctly identified it, compared to
71.4 percent of men; a quarter of women thought it
referred to a ‘hump backed bridge’.
Age also has an effect on a motorist’s
ability to recognise road signs. Those aged between 55 and
64 are the most knowledgeable, whilst drivers in the 25-34
bracket are the worst – 71 percent to 53 percent
The age group typically associated with
new drivers, 17-24 year olds, were alarmingly the second
worst with 58 percent.
In the poll of over 1,100 motorists,
less than 2 percent of respondents actually scored the
maximum 100 percent score. Qualified visitors to New Car
Net were asked to correctly identify ten basic road signs
in a multiple-choice format similar to the current theory
It comes as no surprise to learn that
the most universally recognised sign was also a common
sight on Britain’s roads – the ‘two way traffic
crosses one way road’ sign. The sign used to designate a
segregated pedestrian and cycle route scored the worst.
“Time proves to be a good educator,”
says Massimo Pini of New Car Net, “But it is a concern
that so few of us on the road can remember the most basic
“We seem to think that as long as we
can mechanically perform the function of driving, we don’t
need to worry about what a road sign is telling us
Car Net was launched in 1997 as an independent UK new
car buyer’s guide and has since gone on to become the
premier online provider of automotive content in the UK
with a recipient list that includes: Yahoo!, Times Online,
Virgin.net, Wanadoo, Tiscali, Auto Trader and UK Online.
The website itself is accessed by around 160,000 users
every month generating over 2 million page impressions.