Survey: 86% of Americans are bad at estimating their driving abilities

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Updated May 25, 2016

[ click to enlarge + ][ click to enlarge + ]Hankook Tire recently polled Americans on how they would grade themselves and other drivers of various vehicles, revealing just how bad many people really are at self-evaluation.

Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) show the number of motor vehicle accidents for 2015 increased from the 6 million accidents the year before but a staggering 86 percent of Americans give themselves at least a “B” grade on their driving skills, meaning they think of themselves as an above average driver.

I would put the number of these people who have been in an accident that “wasn’t their fault” – regardless of what the police and judge said – very high.

In its latest quarterly Gauge Index, Hankook found that 28 percent of Americans believe they are excellent drivers, grading themselves an “A.”

Less than one percent of drivers surveyed gave themselves a “D” or an “F” grade. That’s a lot of Fs running into a lot of Ds, and maybe bouncing off a few Cs, on the highway.

American motorists also believe the type of car you drive influences on how you perform behind the wheel. Long story short, if your car/truck is a beater, other people think you’re a bad driver.

More than half of respondents (53 percent) consider drivers of sedans the best drivers on the road while drivers of luxury cars get a nod only 17 percent of the time. This seems counterintuitive to me. Maybe I’m profiling (like just about every respondent to this survey), but I’m thinking the guy in the Jag might be slightly less likely to torpedo me than the guy in the Ford Fiesta.

Soccer moms and dads didn’t get much love from The Gauge, with only 15 percent of respondents saying minivan drivers were the best.

It’s hard to make a snap judgement of someone you don’t know and only share the road with for just a few minutes. Basically, if you don’t run into me and aren’t going 45 in the passing lane I’ll give you an “A” just for not being a nuisance, but 86 percent seems pretty high.

Especially considering the unrelated infographic in this article shows that plenty of us are still making some pretty bad decisions on the road, which are chronicled on countless YouTube channels.