How Long Does it Take You to Become a Bad Driver?

Is it something that happens over many years?

June 28, 2018

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Remember back in the day when you were learning how to drive? It was a lot of fun knowing that one day you'd have the chance to drive a car alone without parental supervision and go anywhere you wanted. But the process of learning to drive can be super stressful too because there are so many rules a new driver needs to learn to follow and practice.

Do you consider yourself a bad driver? I honestly don't think most people would admit they were a bad driver. In fact, I believe most people that are terrible drivers actually think they are good drivers. I even know some of those delusional people. 

When do you think the average driver starts to slack off from all the skills they learned when they had their learner's permit and took the driver's test? These results may surprise you.

Typically, people do not become bad drivers over many, many years. According to a recent study, it takes the average person just 10 weeks to become a bad driver after they pass their test! That's about two months! Yikes!!! 

What else did the study find? More women, 40% compared to 32% of men believe they've become a bad driver. Women do get a bad name when it comes to their driving abilities. I am a woman and I am an excellent driver! Just sayin'!

Here are some specifics when it comes to how long it takes to learn bad driving habits:

  • It takes us only five months and three days to pull out in front of someone and cutting them off!
  • We begin to tailgate other drivers after four months and 15 days!
  • The average driver will drive without their seat belt on after three months and 18 days! 

If you ever had an accident when you first started driving, you likely learned your lesson pretty quickly. I cracked up my new to me car that my Uncle had just bought for me hours earlier on the first night. I was driving to a friends house to show off my shiny, new 89 VW Jetta and it was Winter in Northeast Pennsylvania. I didn't like the song on the radio and looked down to switch the station for a second and the car in front of me slammed on their breaks and I rear-ended them causing over $3,000 worth of damage to my new car. I was devastated, but it taught me to pay attention and leave plenty of space between me and other cars because you don't know when they will slam on their breaks. 

Of course, drivers have a lot of technology in the car and on their mobile devices that can also cause them to be distracted.