Polite Passengers Cause Car CrashesResearch by ingenie shows that we are more at risk of crashes on the road due to passengers not wanting to upset drivers whilst in the car

· 36% of passengers said they wouldn’t ask the driver to slow down when speeding

· 63% of young drivers said they would slow down if asked by the passenger

· 28% of passengers don’t want to be rude about the driving habits of the designated driver

· 12% of passengers are too embarrassed to ask the driver to slow down

Research released today suggests that over half of Brits (51%) admit they’ve been in a car when the driver has been speeding, but despite being uncomfortable, over a over a third of those surveyed (36%) said they wouldn’t ask the driver to slow down as they didn’t want to be accused of being a back seat driver.

The research, conducted by young driver insurance brand ingenie, discovered it’s more common for passengers over the age of 45 to be in a car where the driver is speeding (52%), but this age group are also less likely to slow down when requested by their passenger as they believe they are more experienced on the roads (31%) – compared to 63% of 17-25 year old drivers who said they were likely to slow down when asked. Interestingly, females are more likely to ask the driver to slow down (44%) whilst males are less likely to (30%).

When it comes to even more serious driving behaviour, the research showed that 30% of those surveyed aged between 17-25 have been in a car with a driver who was over the drink drive limit one or more times. Half of young passengers (50%) thought the driver was sober enough to drive, but worryingly when the passenger was aware the driver was over the limit – 25% of those asked claimed they didn’t want to offend the driver by asking them to not get behind the wheel.

ingenie CEO, Richard King states, “T­hese survey results show we need to arm young passengers with the confidence to speak up when someone is driving dangerously, but we also need to listen when they comment on our driving. How we as parents drive has a huge influence on our children’s future attitude to road safety.”

The data also looked into the reasons why Brits speed, which unsurprisingly showed the biggest factor was running late (45%). This was followed closely by ‘being tailgated’ – which could show bad driving habits can pressure surrounding drivers into speeding.

In line with the above, 46% of over 45 year olds will swear at other drivers’ bad driving habits. This is compared to young drivers who are only 22% likely to swear at other drivers. Beeping a car horn is the standard response to bad driving on the road (42%), with males (45%) more likely than females (39%) to push the horn. Over 45s are happy to listen to criticism from passengers on their driving (23%) whilst 14% of young drivers claim they would ask the passenger to be quiet or even leave the car.

Data from ingenie from 2015 showed that 17-25 year olds will drive 6% more miles over a bank holiday weekend than on than a normal weekend, with a 47% increase in very long journeys (over 50 miles). This in turn will lead to a 25% increase in speeding events, a 14% increase in harsh cornering events and a 25% increase in driving late at night.

For further information about the research – visit: https://www.ingenie.com/blog/2016/03/classic-british-politeness-is-putting-passengers-at-risk

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via editor@andoverandvillages.co.uk or alternatively called at