Drivers overestimating their abilities, road safety report


Almost half of Canterbury drivers believe they have above average abilities on the road, yet think 87 per cent of other drivers are either average or below average, a road safety report has found.

The Road Safety in Canterbury Report conducted by Canterbury councils, Environment Canterbury and NZ Transport Agency investigated Cantabrians' driver perceptions and uncovered some interesting findings.

Although 43 per cent scored their driving abilities highly, a staggering 70 per cent believed other people they shared the road with were only average, and 17 per cent said ​other drivers were below average.

The authors stated that, "overconfidence doesn't just mean you see yourself as a better driver than others: it means you are likely to forgive your own mistakes as being results of circumstance, while attributing other's mistakes [as] defects in their character". 

In addition to this finding, the report discovered that Canterbury drivers overwhelmingly care about road safety, with 96 per cent stating that road safety "is everyone's responsibility".​

Other interesting outcomes from the research were:

  • Canterbury drivers thought careless or reckless driver behaviour, distracted drivers and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs were the three biggest influencing factors on road fatalities and serious crashes.
  • Seventy-six per cent of drivers constantly think about their safety and that of others while on the road, and 18 per cent think about it when faced with an unexpected road risk.
  • Sixty-five per cent of Cantabrians cycle recreationally, and 21 per cent cycle to work and study.
  • Overconfident drivers are more likely to be male.

​A total of 1460 people from across the region took part in an online survey for the study.

​View the full report here​.​

Page reviewed: 18 Oct 2019 1:07pm