Drivers' ratings of different components of their own driving skill: a greater illusion of superiority for skills that relate to accident involvement
Horswill, M. S., Waylen, A. E. and Tofield, M. I. (2004) Drivers' ratings of different components of their own driving skill: a greater illusion of superiority for skills that relate to accident involvement. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34 (1). pp. 177-195. ISSN 0021-9029
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02543.x
Different components of driving skill relate to accident involvement in different ways. For instance, while hazard-perception skill has been found to predict accident involvement, vehicle-control skill has not. We found that drivers rated themselves superior to both their peers and the average driver on 18 components of driving skill (N = 181 respondents). These biases were greater for hazard-perception skills than for either vehicle-control skills or driving skill in general. Also, ratings of hazard-perception skill related to self-perceived safety after overall skill was controlled for. We suggest that although drivers appear to appreciate the role of hazard perception in safe driving, any safety benefit to be derived from this appreciation may be undermined by drivers' inflated opinions of their own hazard-perception skill. We also tested the relationship between illusory beliefs about driving skill and risk taking and looked at ways of manipulating drivers' illusory beliefs.