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Study: most drivers are overconfident in their driving skills

After driving for many years, many drivers naturally become confident in their driving ability. However, a new study reports that drivers may be over-confident about their skills behind the wheel. While one might think they're an excellent driver, that doesn't mean they're not susceptible to traffic tickets, car accidents and other pitfalls on the road.

A survey issued by Allstate Insurance Company showed that 64 percent of drivers in the United States considered themselves either "very good" or "excellent" drivers. The more objective side of the argument lies in the cold hard facts, and those say otherwise.

Of all the drivers surveyed, 89 percent said they consistently drive faster than the speed limit, while 40 percent admit to have driven 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Of this same pool of drivers, many of which claim their skills at the wheel are impeccable, 53 percent have received a speeding ticket while 44 percent have been tagged with three or more traffic tickets.

This shows a discrepancy in a driver's perceived skill and their actual driving habits, and it may be a contributing factor in car accidents and other traffic issues. A spokesperson for Allstate said the main lesson of the study is for drivers to slow down, be patient and show more tolerance and respect for fellow drivers. Because many drivers have been behind the wheel for so long, they tend to think they've mastered it and are more competent than their fellow drivers on the road.

The survey showed a geographical trend as well. Southern drivers think more highly of themselves, with 34 percent claiming they are above average (the national average is 31 percent). But, along with drivers from the west, southern drivers are more likely to receive a speeding ticket.

If you have been injured by a negligent driver, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: MyCentralJersey.com, "Most drivers overestimate their driving skills," Elizabeth Gyori, Aug. 20, 2011

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