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Every Statistic Tells A Story

The DriveWrite Archives

Every Statistic Tells A Story

Geoff Maxted
January 24, 2014

Driving Drunk Driving Dad's Taxi Company
There are very many automotive surveys these days but they can often reveal how we feel about our fellow motorists. Unsurprisingly the news is mixed. For example, it is interesting to see how a vehicle’s colour can affect our perception of the driver. Silver, it seems is the most trustworthy hue. It’s hard to say why this should be but twenty six percent of us favour silver. This is possibly the most popular colour with new cars buyers so it might be that silver’s ubiquity could have an effect, as may also be the case with the runner-up, blue. Red, needless to say, is the least favoured. It obviously points to the red-blooded nature of the driver.

Strangely, green didn’t figure in the statistics. Perhaps it’s because we assume the driver is peace loving and would be the go-to person to learn how to make jewellery out of old circuit boards.

Things get nastier when we consider the bad habits of our fellow motorists. Over 50% of us get steamed up by people driving whilst using a mobile phone. There’s a law against this of which these dastardly villains are either oblivious of simply don’t care. It seems like this is an extension of the older failings of attending to hair and make-up (Listen up ladies - this means you. Mostly.) More recently we are becoming distracted by all the in-car gadgets and gizmos.

It is interesting how the statistics from surveys of how we think can sometimes fly in the face of reality. It seems that 43.5% of us believe that the most trusted age group amongst drivers is 44-60. Conversely, DVLA figures show that this is the age group that racks up the most penalty points. The suggestion here is that this is the time of life when drivers can afford more powerful cars. At the other end of the scale it’s folk over the age of 61 who come in for some stick. Only seven percent of respondents felt that these old- timers were the most trustworthy. Conversely, the DVLA say the age range are the safest drivers because they drive more slowly. Go figure.

Having bumper stickers on cars is very much an American pastime. They love letting the world know about how great their family is or how many moose they’ve shoot in a year, for example. We mostly don’t do stickers in the UK but we do form an opinion of those who do. We are, for example, deeply suspicious of cars with a Tasmanian Devil sticker. The unfortunate driver might well hail from Tassie but we’re not to know that are we? Adding to the list of irritants is ‘Powered by fairy dust’. Seriously, how irksome is that? In truth, the only bumper sticker that has any element of truth is ‘Mum’s / Dad’s Taxi’. This is evidence of parents being taken for granted by their offspring. Pity is the emotion this should engender.

When it comes to trusting our fellow road users there are some suspicious similarities about the figures. 57.1% of respondents felt that women were the more trustworthy drivers. Men could only muster a pathetic 42.9%. Situation normal, you might be inclined to say except that the gender split in those who responded to this question was - women, 56.7% and men, 43.3%. This suggests that the answers are more about supporting the home team rather than the application of genuine scientific theory.

When it comes to getting shirty with other motorists it seems that the 26-34 age group are most likely to inflict road rage on others although, the figures don’t change much across the age groups. It only drops off sharply with the over 61 set, although some of those grannies, well, they can still dish out the sharp edge of their tongues.

Statistics can be very informative. They can help government departments and big organisations get a snapshot picture of what the public thinks about various issues. With motoring for example, the most trusted drivers are involved with the law in some way. Hmmm. On the other hand vicars only scored 0.4%. That’s a bit of a worry.

Information kindly supplied by Truck Locator
Written by Geoff Maxted - powered by Famous Grouse.

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