First-borns are the worst drivers, finds study

Let the sibling rivalry recommence

Rachel Hosie
Thursday 10 August 2017 08:52 BST
(Cory Bouthillette)

Younger siblings, take heart: you’re probably a better driver than your parents’ golden child, the first-born.

According to a new study, the eldest child in a family is most likely to speed, get fines for motoring offences and have road traffic collisions.

And at the other end of the scale, youngest children tend to be the safest drivers.

The research, carried out by Privilege Car Insurance, assessed the driving habits of 1,395 motorists.

They found that 89 per cent of older siblings are likely to speed, 47 per cent to annoy other drivers by cutting them off, 46 per cent to hog the middle of the road and 35 per cent to get fined.

17 per cent of first-born children admitted to applying makeup while driving and 30 per cent to using their phone at the wheel.

These were all higher rates than that of younger siblings, meaning first-borns have been in more collisions than middle and youngest children.

In families with multiple children, the youngest turned out to be the best driver - 42 per cent cut up other drivers and 36 per cent hog lanes on the motorway.

Although technically first-born, it turns out only children are even better drivers still, being the least likely to cruise in the middle of the road or outside lane (31 per cent), or cut someone up while driving (36 per cent).

The researchers also found that excuses for bad driving varied depending on birth order. While middle and youngest children are most likely to lay the blame on other drivers annoying them (28 per cent), eldest children say they only have bad road etiquette if there’s a good reason, such as being late (18 per cent).

Charlotte Fielding, head of Privilege DriveXpert, said: “Sibling rivalry is a famous family issue, in particular when arguing over who is the better driver.

“Younger drivers with DriveXpert telematics policies are given a score based on their safe driving ability.

“This technology can not only encourage safe driving and reward those who do so with lower insurance premiums, but can also help siblings decide once and for all who is best behind the wheel.”

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