New survey shows extent to which drivers are affected by partners
Men are less likely to be affected by having their partner in the car (41%), with one in ten saying they drive more carefully when their partner is in the car with them, according to a survey carried out for the UK’s largest insurer Aviva.
However, the research also shows a similar number of men (9%) refuse to let their partner drive their car. Of these:
-A fifth (20%) say this is because they do not rate their partner’s driving abilities as highly as their own
-26% believe their car is too powerful for their partner to drive
-16% feel their partner suffers from a lack of confidence when driving.
Despite men’s confidence in their own driving abilities, women do have some criticisms – 13% think their partner is overconfident on the roads while 10% say their partner drives too fast or recklessly. By comparison, 17% of men say they are a better driver than their partner and a further 16% do not think their partner is competent at parking.
While there is general agreement among men and women that the former carry out most of the driving in their relationships, with 43% of men claiming to be ‘the driver’ compared with just 10% of women, this does vary depending on the type of journey. Men are more likely to be behind the wheel on longer journeys (78% vs 13%), on motorways (78% vs 15%) and on country roads (74% vs 19%).
Men are also more likely than women to take over driving in bad weather (33% vs. 5%).
But women tend to be the main driver when it involves the household or children, such as the school run (48% vs 25%) or to sports clubs and hobbies (48% vs 39%).
With the party season about to get underway, Aviva asked who was most likely to be the designated driver on nights out. More than a third (34%) of women felt that they were most likely to stay sober and drive home after a night out, compared with a quarter of men (26%). However, there appear to be differing views on whether the role of designated driver is shared, with 18% of men saying they take it in turns to be the designated driver compared with just 12% of women agreeing with this statement.
Heather Smith, director of marketing at Aviva, said: ‘While men in relationships might feel more comfortable taking on the majority of driving, it is important that both men and women regularly get behind the wheel to ensure that their skills remain fresh.
‘As this research shows, women are less likely to get behind the wheel when in a car with their partner and this has affected their confidence in their abilities, which shouldn’t be the case, particularly as other statistics actually show that women are safer drivers than men as they are involved in fewer accidents.
‘Simple measures such as sharing the responsibility for longer or more challenging drives, or considering your partner’s confidence when you are in the car together mean that everyone can get the most out of driving and keep their skills topped up.’