Give us a moment to stretch and stretch properly. Last time we kicked in an open door, we pulled a hamstring. Because surprise: the Dutch overestimate their own driving skills. A survey by leasing company Athlon shows that about 70 percent of the Dutch consider themselves ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ to drive. The same study shows that only 8 percent of people with a driver’s license would now pass the driving test again. You probably already had such a suspicion.
In addition to themselves, the respondents were also allowed to rate the Dutch in general. The average rating given by the people surveyed to other road users was 3.1. Of course this does not correspond, because if everyone drives as well as he or she thinks, other road users would have a higher opinion of them. ‘Everyone drives unsafely, except me, that is the sentiment among the Dutch regarding road safety and driving behaviour’, says Jean-Pierre Vissers, big boss at Athlon.
In this kind of research we like to mention the Dunning-Kruger effect. This psychological phenomenon means that incompetent people tend to rate themselves highly and people who are competent (the excellent administrators) tend to rate themselves low. Even more succinctly, this would mean that people who think they can drive well, actually cannot do so well.
The Dutch overestimate their own driving skills – what now?
What conclusion should we draw from this research? Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to take a more critical look at your own road behaviour. How long did you actually drive on the left before moving a lane to the right? Still a little longer than necessary? One consolation: since the average rating of the drivers in the Netherlands is 3.1, you are really not the only one who apparently can’t drive very well. It at least confirms a suspicion or two.