Kids Think Mum Is Better At Driving Than Dad

Posted on April 27th, 2010 by GEM Motoring Assist

Its official – kids feel safer when mum is at the wheel, it was revealed yesterday in a survey carried out by breakdown cover and road safety
organisation GEM Motoring Assist.

Incredibly, 6 in 10 children aged 5 to 16 claim they are happier and more relaxed when mum is behind the wheel.

According to kids, dads across Britain drive too fast, are more aggressive and lose their tempers quickly when in the driving seat.

Yet mums are less likely to suffer from road rage, don’t dodge in and out of traffic, are more considerate to other motorists – and according to kids, have
the nicer cars.

The GEM Motoring Assist national poll of 1,279 children shows most think mum’s driving is best – despite the fact she is more likely to stall the car, bump into a wall and finds it impossible to park!

Kids don’t like the fact that dads are impatient when driving, and 83 per cent say he often drives at high speeds.

More than half of dads are accused of regularly shouting at other drivers who annoy him, and 35 per cent of children say they feel nervous when dads lose control of his temper.

In contrast, 70 per cent of children say mum happily sings her heart out while driving, and 52 per cent say she talks non-stop to keep the family entertained.

David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM said: “The research shows that while mum might not be the most skilled driver, she is certainly the most calm.

Unfortunately many children seem to dread getting in the car with dad because his mood is unpredictable and they never know when he is going to get an attack of road rage”.

Two thirds of kids say dad is the motorist who is more likely to weave in and out of the traffic, changing lanes at speed to avoid getting stuck in a jam.

David continues, “Dads seem more intent on getting from A to B as quickly as possible, whereas mums will take things slower and spend their time singing or chatting to the kids rather than getting annoyed with other drivers. It is important to make your kids feel safe in the car and more importantly it is vital your children ARE safe in the car! Not sticking to the rules and driving too fast puts your kids in a dangerous situation and could result in as serious accident.”

When dad is driving too quickly, 39 per cent know not to comment, 22 percent grip the seat in front of them nervously, but 26 percent ask them to slow down.

Unsurprisingly, 55 per cent of dads are said to have had more accidents than mums – probably because 78 percent are more aggressive.

And when dad is getting cross with other drivers, 30 per cent of children slump down in their seat in a bid to hide, while two percent cry. A quarter of children openly admit their dad’s driving scares them.

David comments, ‘It is important that children do not see their parents driving aggressively as this could have a long term affect on what they
see as ‘the norm’. There is a general belief that kids exposed to poor driving could mean that they copy this action when they start to drive themselves.’’

Despite having a good reputation with the kids, and being the calmer driver on the roads, mums still get in a pickle with basic manoeuvres required for everyday driving.

Seven in 10 youngsters say mum is more likely to stall the car when pulling away from a junction or performing a hill start and 64 per cent of kids say mum is incapable of reverse parking, finding herself weaving all over the road as she struggles to fit the car in the appropriate space.

Consequently, 67 per cent of kids say their mum’s poor parking ability often leads to them bumping the car into walls, road signs and lamp-posts.

David Williams added: “Unfortunately, the survey shows a third of children are embarrassed to be driven around by their parents – regardless of whether it is mum or dad.

But mum still gets the thumbs up as the person they would prefer to drive them to school, or to friend’s houses. This research should send a clear message out to dads, to be more careful and considerate when driving – not just towards other motorists but to their children as well.”

The poll also shows mum is the person who is most likely to get lost when driving, and dads are more likely to use their mobile phone illegally.

• Drives too fast
• Shouts at other drivers
• Dodges in and out of the traffic
• Too aggressive
• Has more accidents

• Talks to keep the children entertained
• Sings at the wheel
• Drives at a reasonable speed
• Is considerate towards other motorists
• Has a nicer car