Older drivers voted most annoying – but are they stigmatised?

28th September 2012

Nobody enjoys being stereotyped, but a new survey from insurance firm Admiral has found elderly motorists are the group UK drivers find most annoying.

A poll of 3,164 adults with valid driving licenses saw elderly motorists being selected as the most frustrating, with 41 per cent identifying them as irritating.

Senior drivers taking part in the poll were more lenient with themselves – voting cyclists the most annoying (35 per cent).

"It’s surprising to see that such a high number of people voted for elderly motorists which shows they’ve obviously hit a nerve with the driving public," said Sue Longthorn, Admiral managing director.

"The reason so many people find elderly motorists irritating could be because they tend to drive more carefully and are not in such a rush compared to many other road users," she suggested.

It all seems a bit disparaging to elderly drivers, and is refuted by the comments of one medical expert who says they are actually much safer on the roads.

Professor Desmond O'Neill, consultant physician in geriatric and stroke medicine at Trinity College Dublin, recently wrote in the British Medical Journal that older motorists have an enviably low crash record, and are in fact victims of an unfair stigma that sees them as a "disproportionate risk to other road users".

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Posted by Danielle Barge