Bad driver? Blame your parents!

A new study suggests that dangerous driving runs in the family.

Ever wondered where your bad – and good – habits behind the wheel come from?

You can thank mum and dad. So says a new study that reckons dangerous driving ‘runs in the family’.

When learning to drive and in the first years after passing their test, younger drivers mirror the behaviour of their parents, the research suggests.

Over two-thirds of drivers aged between 18 and 25 say their driving is influenced by mum and dad.

The IPSO study asked more than 900 young drivers in France what influenced their habits behind the wheel. And parents came out on top – even ahead of driving instructors.

The research was carried out by the group that runs motorways in France – The Vinci Autoroutes.

How young drivers are influenced
Road rage: Of the young motorists who had suffered road rage, some 75% said they’d seen their parents being angry behind the wheel.

Speed limits: Among those who admitted ‘driving too fast’, 77% said their parents had done the same.

Fatigue: Of those who carried on driving when they felt tired, 71% had parents who had done the same.

When parents hadn’t shown anger behind the wheel or driven too fast, the number of young people doing so was smaller – 36% for road rage and 45% for speed.

Parents urged to set an example
Now there are calls for parents to drive ‘more responsibly’ to set a good example for their children.

Bernadette Moreau, from the Vinci Autoroutes, urged parents to help children become good drivers.

Speaking to Le Parisien she said: “Bad behaviour is passed on, but so is good behaviour.”

The study comes as the government has announced harsher punishments for drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel.

Under new rules expected to come in next year, drivers will get six points on their licence and face a £200 fine.

First time offenders will also no longer be able to avoid getting points on their licence by taking a remedial course and newly qualified drivers could be made to retake their test the first time they are caught.