RAC Cars News


Kids Prefer Dads To Drive

By raccars Published

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A new survey reports that young children think their fathers are better drivers than their mothers, while older children, who have passed their driving tests, would call their father before anyone else if they suffered a breakdown.

The unflattering statistics show that 73% of kids credit their fathers' parking skills over their mothers' and 57% claim dad is an all-round better driver. However, a third of children say the reason they prefer to drive with dad is because he allows them to choose the music! Almost 20% of the children questioned said that dad's car is better than mum's.

On the other hand, children report that their mothers display better road manners than their fathers, with 58% of dads apparently directing bad language towards other road users, compared to only 45% of mums. When mums do lose their temper behind the wheel, it tends to be during the school run, whereas dads apparently struggle to maintain their equilibrium while going to the supermarket.

From the parents' point of view, almost 80% believe a car journey is a good time to have a conversation with their children, because there's nowhere for them to escape to!

Despite this disparaging view of mums' driving skills, more and more young drivers are being given lessons by their mothers these days. Mums teach about a third of learner drivers now, compared to only 11% in 1994. Fathers are still the favourite for driving lessons, however, with 47% of driving candidates learning from dad. At the same time, fewer young people are using driving schools to help them get on the road, with a lack of funds obliging would be young drivers to rely on teaching by their parents instead. Unfortunately, a decreasing pass rate suggests that parental lessons are not the best way to learn to drive. Only 42% of driving candidates pass their test first time now, compared to 48% in 1994.

Separate research suggested that young drivers see their fathers as a kind of 'fourth emergency service'. 41% of drivers aged 18-24 would call their fathers before anyone else if they were to break down, while only 30% would make the first call to their breakdown recovery service and only 25% would call mum first. While 35% of young drivers surveyed claimed they trusted their mothers more than their fathers, 22% claimed that their fathers are more practical. Mums received 36% of the vote for being the most caring parent.

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