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Aussie drivers overconfident in the wet

Back yourself as a wet weather driver? You may be suffering from “storm smugness”.

A national survey claims Australian motorists have an inflated sense of their driving skills in the wet, with Queenslanders the worst offenders.

Research by national insurer AAMI says Aussie motorists are more likely to blame others for poor driving in the rain than take simple wet weather precautions behind the wheel.

Survey results show overall only 13 per cent conceded their driving was worse on wet roads while almost half (44 per cent) believed other motorists were adversely affected by the rain.

While more than one third of drivers (34 per cent) admitted to having an accident during wet weather, about one in five said they didn’t avoid sudden braking (20 per cent) or reduce their speed (18 per cent) when it rained.

About one in six said they didn’t drive more cautiously (17 per cent), leave extra braking distance (15 per cent) or put their lights on for better visibility (15 per cent) during showers.

AAMI’s Matt Pugliese said the “alarming” survey results showed that instead of being a good driver, many Australians may be on a fast track to a wet weather prang.

He described it as “storm smugness”, and called for motorists to rethink their attitude at the end of what has been a wet week in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

“This research suggests there might be a case of Aussie drivers having a blind spot when it comes to their own wet weather driving ability,” he said.

“We all know the roads are more dangerous in the wet as drivers have to contend with slippery roads, poor visibility and longer stopping distances.

“More of us need to take the necessary precautions. The small adjustments are worth it to ensure you don’t become another wet weather crash statistic.”

Survey results indicate the attitude adjustment may need to start in Queensland.

Just 10 per cent in the Sunshine State believed they were worse drivers in the wet while 47 per cent accused others of being adversely affected in the rain, compared to NSW (16 per cent, 47 per cent) and Victoria (13 per cent, 40 per cent).

AAMI said Queensland had the highest number of self-reported incidents in the rain (40 per cent) ahead of Victoria (33 per cent) and NSW (30 per cent).

Overall the survey said drivers aged under 40 were the worst in the wet, with 59 per cent admitting to not driving with extra caution and 62 per cent not paying more attention to other motorists when it rained.

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