New Study Reveals Driver Prejudices

A new study carried out by Continental Tyres has revealed that UK drivers judge people based on such things as their car type, colour and cleanliness of the vehicle.

The study which surveyed 2,000 drivers revealed that drivers own prejudices often affect how they act towards other drivers. Things such as an offensive bumper sticker can cause many drivers to see red and change their habits towards that driver. In the survey more than a third of respondents said their prejudices would affect them at the wheel making them more reckless as a result.

The research also revealed that people were twice as likely not to allow someone out at a junction if they are in a so called 'flash' car as they think 'they are at it'. The main reason though that drivers would not allow someone out at a junction was if they were using their mobile phones while behind the wheel, which is no surprise considering it is highly dangerous and illegal. The study also found that six out of ten respondents would become agitated if they saw a rival football team's sticker on another driver's window.

When it comes to our own cars drivers are not so worried about how other people see them with over half saying the expected to be stereotyped because the type of car they drive. Surprisingly though 27% of people said they made more of an effort to be courteous to drivers who had the same make and model as them. When it comes to electric and hybrid cars opinions are divided with an equal number of people saying they believe owners of these cars are right to consider the environment, while the other half see them as 'tree huggers' or 'self-righteous'.

Mark Griffiths spokesman for Continental Tyres said of the findings: “ It is alarming that 34 per cent of drivers will change their driving style based on a prejudice about something as unimportant as how clean a vehicle is. Rather than aesthetic and other non-risk affecting features, the importance should be placed on factors like driving behaviour, car safety and tyre condition – as these are the things that really impact on safety. “

By Jenna Niblock