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Britain’s worst drivers exposed

Motorists aged 25-34 regularly exhibit 11 out of 12 bad habits, including tailgating, driving while tired and fiddling with tech devices in the car.

Teenagers are often perceived as being the most irresponsible and riskiest drivers on UK roads, but a new survey by AA Tyres indicates that Generation Y drivers are the worst.

An AA-Populus poll canvassed 21,741 AA members on bad driving habits, and almost nine out of 10 (87%) drivers in the 25-34 age group admitted to frequently braking hard or too late, while 71% said they tailgate and 87% said they have driven while tired.

And, 87% of those Generation Y drivers polled said they frequently fiddled with in-car technology, such as radios, bluetooth phones and sat navs, while at the wheel.

Across all age groups, breaking the speed limit was, not surprisingly, the most common problem, with 89% of drivers polled confessing to breaking the speed limit during the past 12 months. More than a quarter (26%) of respondents said they break the speed limit every week.

Almost half of all motorists said they eat or drink at the wheel, and this figure rises to 81% for 25 to 34-year-olds. Younger drivers are also the worst litter-bugs with one in ten of 18 to 24-year-olds admitting they have thrown rubbish out of the window – more than double the national rate of 4%.

Male drivers appear to be the most impatient, far more prone to exhibit the annoying habit of undertaking (51%) compared to only 37% of women.

While, 29% of male drivers admit to speeding every week compared to less than a fifth (19%) of female drivers, and more than twice as many men (9%) confess they speed every time they drive, compared to women (4%).

Meanwhile, female motorists (41%) are more than twice as likely to drive in unsuitable shoes than male motorists (19%).

Bad driving habits by age group

The following table shows the most common bad driving habits, and the top offending age group for each:

Bad driving habit

% polled who admitted to this bad habit in past 12 months

Top offending age group

Going over the speed limit

89%

45-54 and 55-64 (90%)

Braking hard or late

79%

25-34 (87%)

Driving while tired

72%

25-34 (87%)

Adjusting technology (e.g. sat nav, radio, Bluetooth phone, on-board computer)

72%

25-34 (88%)

Not indicating at the correct time (e.g. changing lane, roundabouts)

58%

18-24 and 25-34 (66%)

Driving too close to the vehicle in front

57%

18-24 and 25-34 (71%)

Eating or drinking

49%

25-34 (81%)

Sitting in the middle lane when the inside lane is clear

48%

25-34 (53%)

Overtaking on the left

48%

25-34 (57%)

Rubbernecking (e.g. slowing down to look at an accident)

47%

18-24 and 25-34 (57%)

Wearing unsuitable shoes (e.g. flip-flops, high-heels, heavy boots)

26%

25-34 (48%)

Throwing rubbish out of the window

4%

18-24 (10%)

The poll was carried out by AA Tyres, the AA’s mobile tyre fitting service.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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