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Drivers overestimate their own driving skills

South Carolina is made up of all different kinds of people, and the great majority of them think they're good drivers. It's a quirk of human psychology that most people think they have above-average driving skills when, in fact, not everyone can be an above-average driver. The study that first identified this quirk took place more than 50 years ago. It has been repeated and reconfirmed many times since then.

In the original study, researchers interviewed people who were in the hospital following car accidents where they were the drivers. In more than 66 percent of these cases, law enforcement determined that fault for the crash lay with the person who was in the hospital and being interviewed. However, the injured drivers rated themselves on a nine-point scale as closer to expert than very poor.

The problem is not limited to the United States. A study compared drivers in America and Sweden, asking them to rate their driving skills. More than three-quarters of the Swedish drivers rated themselves as above average at driving safety, and approximately two-thirds said they had above-average driving skills.

The accident rate per mile driven is roughly twice as high for 16-year-old drivers as it is for any other group. The age demographic with the safest driving habits is 60- to 69-year-olds. Drivers over the age of 80 have an accident rate that's roughly a third of that for 16-year-olds.

People overestimate their skills and attention to safety when behind the wheel, which can lead to accidents. Individuals who are injured in car accidents might be able to file claims for damages, including lost wages, pain and suffering and medical expenses. An attorney with experience in personal injury law might be able to help by gathering documentary evidence and deposing witnesses in anticipation of trial or by negotiating a settlement with at-fault parties and their insurers.

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Smith & Griffith, LLP
1102 North Main Street
Anderson, SC 29621

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