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One million UK drivers would describe themselves as unconfident behind the wheel

ByMorgan Cue

Mar 20, 2022 #Motoring

A recent study by comparethemarket.com has revealed that one million UK drivers describe themselves as “unconfident” when on the road. Via a survey, comparethemarket.com has revealed the scenarios where UK drivers feel the most and least confident, the cities home to the most self-assured drivers and tips on how to become a more confident driver.

Belfast is home to the most confident drivers 

With 96.4% of drivers in Belfast feeling assured of their driving ability, the city is home to the most confident drivers in the UK, closely followed by Glasgow (93.5%) and Bristol (93.3%). Liverpool and Sheffield were found to have some of the least confident drivers.

The scenarios where drivers feel the most confident 

Motorway driving (42%), residential roads (37%), and country lanes (21%) are the scenarios where drivers feel the most confident. When asking about the situations that make drivers feel the least confident, driving in icy conditions, driving in the snow, and navigating slip roads were among the most common responses.

How age and years of experience affect driving confidence 

Alongside certain driving situations, age and experience also play a significant role in having confidence behind the wheel. It was revealed that 58% of drivers feel the most confident when having between one and six years of experience. Confidence levels then significantly reduce after that point, which is reflected in that nearly one in three drivers believe individuals should re-sit their driving test when aged 60 – increasing to over one in two drivers who think you should retest at 70.

The nations’ opinions on re-testing drivers after a certain age

With age and years of experience having such a big impact on confidence, nearly one in three drivers believe people should re-sit their driving tests when they reach the age of 60 – this increases to over one in two drivers who think you should retest at 70.

National differences in opinion show that those in Northern Ireland agree the most that drivers should retest when they reach 60 (35%), followed by Scotland (31%), while just 28% of drivers in Wales agreed.

Expert tips on increasing driver confidence

1. Plan ahead 

Finding yourself in an unfamiliar location can be extremely disorientating. By preparing and carefully planning your journey, you’ll be less likely to knock your confidence by making simple mistakes, like missing a junction.

2. Practice driving in different situations 

If you feel particularly nervous at nighttime or in icy conditions, it can become tempting to avoid driving at these times altogether. However, practicing driving in conditions that make you feel less confident is an important step in overcoming nervousness and feeling more assured of your abilities.

3. Take additional motorway lessons 

Learning to drive on motorways isn’t a requirement to pass your test. This can leave many drivers feeling nervous when first experiencing motorway driving and can have a lasting effect. Taking additional motorway-specific driving lessons is a great way to build up confidence.

4. Slow down and stick to the speed limits 

When driving at higher speeds (within the legal speed limits) it can be easy to make small mistakes that can knock your confidence. By slowing down, you can make a more comprehensive assessment of the road and make better driving decisions – helping keep you and other drivers safe.

The full study can be found here: https://www.comparethemarket.com/car-insurance/content/confident-motorists/

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