The causes of car accidents are usually attributed to intoxication, aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding, and so forth. However, overconfidence is often the underlying reason for these behaviors. Overconfident people overrate their abilities and underrate the dangers and risks of the road. While it afflicts both young and older drivers alike, male drivers are more prone to this problem than female drivers.

Overconfident people fail to process feedback that contradicts their self assessments. This is why people with poor talent often appear on nationally televised talent shows. They keep a perpetual deaf ear to criticism and blame the judges for bias when they lose these contests. Likewise, overconfident drivers explain away evidence placing them at fault and blame other drivers for their accidents.

The Causes of Overconfident Driving

  • Youthful drivers fail to appreciate their lack of experience. One year after receiving their driving licenses, young drivers become overconfident because they fail to acknowledge that their experience is limited. It takes many years of exposure to a variety of situations before good driving instincts and reactions are developed.
  • Older drivers fail to give driving the concentration it deserves. Their years of experience behind the wheel desensitizes them to the dangers of the road. This desensitization plus their well-developed skills at driving on “autopilot” causes many to multitask on the road. Distracted driving without traffic accidents or incidents reinforces this habit.

The Effects of Overconfidence on Driving

Overconfident drivers’ inflated sense of their abilities causes them to disregard caution and prudence in the face of poor weather, poor road conditions, and other hazards. They may have driven under similar circumstances before and automatically assume they can handle them in the future. This effect also causes them to assume greater risk in other ways such as speeding, aggressive driving, and not wearing seat belts. However, they fail to understand that prolonged exposure to risk increases the likelihood of an accident over the long-term.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how long a driver has driven without getting into a car accident or how he or she feels about their driving abilities. When a fatal car accident happens to them, it simply does.

If you or someone close to you were involved in a car accident and wish to talk to an experienced attorney, we can help. Contact us today.

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